Parents: School district missed chance to help keep pedophiles a - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Parents: School district missed chance to help keep pedophiles away from children

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A student uses a cellphone in this file image. (Source: FOX5) A student uses a cellphone in this file image. (Source: FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

It’s back-to-school season, but some parents say the Clark County School District has repeatedly missed its chance to make classrooms safer for children.

Melinda Malone, spokeswoman for the district, told FOX5 that CCSD has not established any sort of social media policy for the beginning of the school year.

Parents argue the lack of policy opens the door for teachers who might want to take advantage of their position of power to become a predator online. Police arrest a handful of these teachers every year, and many of them become convicted sex offenders.

Currently, social media accounts for CCSD employees are not monitored unless the employee goes online from a school computer.

“It gets worse every time you turn on and watch the news,” said Rosemarie Macklin, a concerned parent. “Right now, the children have absolutely free range.”

FOX5 has been asking CCSD officials what they have been doing to regulate teachers and children on social media for years. District leaders have continually responded that nothing has been finalized, but they’re “working on it.”

Parents like Macklin said that response just isn’t good enough.

“We’re paying taxes to make sure these teachers are being policed,” she said. “It’s not fair. These children are not really getting a chance to be children anymore.”

Malone said she understood parents’ concerns, but for now the district will elect to continue having informal conversations with teachers about what’s considered “appropriate behavior.”

“Appropriate use of technology/appropriate relationships between staff and students is part of employee annual training,” wrote Malone in an email.

Some parents empathize with CCSD. Jodi Martinson said her daughter became good friends with a teacher in high school, and she would disagree with any sort of policy that would ban online conversations. As a parent, she believes she is most qualified to make the proper judgment call.

“It would be hard to make a policy,” Martinson said. “I could agree with (one), but it’s such a gray area.”Malone said the district is researching other social media policies across the United States. If CCSD comes up with its own policy, she said it would likely still allow teachers to help students online with homework.

“It’s a very complicated thing to put into a policy,” she said. “There’s so many little loopholes.”

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