Children’s advocacy expert shares warning signs of inappropriate teacher-student relationships

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Research shows the state of Alabama has the highest rate of school personnel engaging in sexual contact with youth in the nation.

"We all appreciate teachers who really care, teachers who really engage with our children and who want to help them develop," said NCAC executive director Chris Newlin.

He said sometimes those relationships can go too far. There are some signs parents need to look for.

"Teachers should not be having individual texting activities with students. They should not be on their social media," explained Newlin.

He said parents should be concerned if a teacher has contact like this. However, there's also other people in authority who should be watching too.

"All school districts in my mind have a responsibility to have clear personnel policies and procedures," said Newlin.

He wants parents to know inappropriate relationships aren't always of a sexual nature.

"Most of these instances start with kind of dipping the toe in the water and maybe some flirtation. And if there is some engagement from the youth and then things can escalate," said Newlin.

While school officials should be reporting this type of behavior, parents can also do so at anytime.

It's better to take action before a relationship progresses.

Newlin said having an open line of communication with your child is always key.

Your child is more likely to talk with you about difficult topics when they feel comfortable. ​