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By Madelynn Coldiron Staff Writer The number of reported cases of inappropriate relationships between a teacher and a student skyrocketed last year in Kentucky schools, with sexually related instances rising to 45 by the end of November, compared with 25 in 2010.

Several more cases were expected to be added to the 2011 figure.

They also prohibit harassment/discrimination on school property and off school grounds during school-sponsored events and outline reporting requirements.

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The relationship affects those students as well as the victim, she said.

Requires teachers, school administrators or other school personnel to immediately report to law enforcement if they suspect a child under 18 “is dependent, neglected or abused.”Makes it a felony for an adult in a position of authority to have a sexual relationship with anyone under 18.

Young teachers, who may have more in common with students than their peers, also fall into this category, Thompson said.

Training State law does not require districts to give employees training in this area, but it can easily be worked into training on harassment that most districts already conduct, Bass said. All employees should know the law and board policy on inappropriate educator-student relationships and also know the signs of a ‘grooming’ situation in which the abuser lays the groundwork with the child, Bass said.

Bass said school staff need to hear a strong, consistent and regularly reiterated message from the central office down to the schools that these behaviors are forbidden.

Likewise, school boards “have to set the culture and the tone that this will not be tolerated in our district and we’re going to do everything we can to prevent it,” Thompson said.for the purpose of this policy, nepotism is defined as favoritism toward family members.The university strives to be a family-friendly workplace and is committed to maintaining an environment in which members of the university community can work together to further education, research and community service.At the same time, you’re protecting the individual if it turns out not to be true.” Combs pointed out that school board members may not realize they have the same legal duty as does any citizen in Kentucky to report suspected child abuse to authorities – including instances in which they learn of allegations involving employees of the district.They can’t interfere with the superintendent’s authority over personnel, she said, but they must report to authorities.A strong message State law, district policies, employee handbooks and the EPSB’s code of conduct are all clear on the subject: “Don’t go there,” said Dara Bass, KSBA’s director of Policy Services.

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