SPECIAL REPORT: Students speak out about teacher misconduct

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Sex, lies and consequences have surrounded three District 51 schools recently, which have prompted investigations after faculty members were caught sexting teenage students.

"It's good for a teacher to care about you but not on that level," Shelbi Peak, Sophomore at Palisade High School.

Teachers are the trusted adult with your child's education in their hands, but as technology becomes an even bigger part of our daily lives at a younger age, how teachers communicate with their students is changing. That change can bring a breakdown of what used to be a very formal relationship.

"That's totally inappropriate, a student and a teacher really shouldn't have more than a friendship relationship," Kyle Harrison, Freshman at Palisade High School.

"You should definitely know that it's wrong," Riley Smith Sophomore at Palisade High School.

"It is creepy and it's weird," Jessica Harrison, Senior at Palisade High School.

Fruita 8/9's Randy Majors was arrested after an investigation and charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a child. Pear Park Elementary and Central High School also employed men who now face allegations they took their student-teacher relationships too far.

The allegations and even arrest affidavits suggest they used social media and text messages to flirt with female students or other underage girls, who in some cases were half their age.

Students do often develop close bonds with their teachers, the people who will help shape who they will become, but never would they imagine crossing that line or being asked to do so by their teacher.

"We are really good friends and we hang out at lunch and everything i mean i know that it's strictly professional," Quincy Campbell, Senior at Palisade High School.

So what would lead a teacher to become strictly unprofessional?

Psychology expert Shelly Milsap said they may be abusing their position to fill a void, "It may be some sense of power or control that they're needing in their life elsewhere."

In some of these instances, the students turned their teacher in and other times they participate. Experts said hormones and emotional vulnerability play a factor.

Teens without a good home life may feel the only adult they can be open with is their teacher and they are more likely to fall in the trap of engaging in an inappropriate relationship.

No matter how or why the relationship begins a teacher as the adult is responsible for the behavior.

"When emotions get involved sometimes kids don't think clearly and adults should," Dan Bollinger, Assistant Principal at Palisade High School.

If you suspect your child is involved in inappropriate communications with their teacher officials suggest taking the matter to the school district and law enforcement before it goes any further.

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