McKinney ISD May Pull Plug on Teacher-Student E-Mail, Text Ban

The McKinney school district is rethinking its strict ban on electronic communication between teachers and students.

Administrators implemented the policy, which banned students and teachers from communicating with each other via text message, e-mail or social-networking Web sites, weeks ago.

But hundreds of parents and students complained about the policy on Facebook, saying it made it difficult to communicate outside of regular school hours.

"If a bus is late or something, you know -- in the past, the coach could just text the students and it would be done," said Brint Diggs, a parent of four. "They can't do that anymore, so little things like that, it's an inconvenience."

The McKinney Independent School District has written a much more lenient policy that board members will vote on Monday. If approved, the new rules would go into effect immediately.

"The policy that was submitted was probably a little far-reaching," said Cody Cunningham, said district spokesman. "I think the district realized it was too stringent."

The current policy is intended to help limit the chances of an inappropriate relationship between students and teachers.

"There are people who take advantage of adolescents, so as a parent, I think it's a good idea," Diggs said.

Students said the policy made their lives much harder. Many relied on e-mail to ask teachers questions about assignments.

The new policy would allow students and teachers to text, e-mail or message each other on social-networking sites, but with more parental involvement. Teachers would also have to abide by a strict code of conduct.

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