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New student-teacher policy in the works

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: Jan 29 2014 12:39:35 AM CST

New student-teacher policy in the works

PUEBLO, Colo. -

Pueblo City Schools administrators are changing the district's policy on teacher-student relationships in light of a recent sexting scandal involving a teacher.

During Tuesday's school board meeting, the district's lawyer, Richard Bump, presented board members an amended version of the district's "staff conduct" policy. Several sections have been added, including one titled "Maintaining Professional Staff/Student Boundaries" and another on "Unacceptable Boundary Invasions." Under the proposed policy, for instance, a teacher could not single out a student to have a friendship with the student. 

School board member Rose Holloway said the proposed policy is a good start but she said it doesn't go far enough. She wants board members to be notified as soon as an allegation of teacher misconduct is made.

When former South High School teacher Larisa Oringdulph resigned Nov. 7, 2013 after admitting to kissing and sexting a student, the board didn't find out until after she resigned. Pueblo police began investigating allegations against Oringdulph in October 2012. The board was not notified then either. After finishing its 2012 and 2013 investigations, police concluded that Oringdulph had not committed a crime.

"What we considered inappropriate behavior the police did not consider illegal behavior, and so as a community that tells me that we need to come together and define behavior that is unacceptable that we won't allow, that we consider as a community abuse," Holloway said.

Board members will meet again on Feb. 28 with suggested amendments for the policy. A vote could be made then. 

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