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RULE §249.3Definitions

  (50) Solicitation of a romantic relationship--Deliberate or repeated acts that can be reasonably interpreted as the solicitation by an educator of a relationship with a student that is romantic in nature. A romantic relationship is often characterized by a strong emotional or sexual attachment and/or by patterns of exclusivity, but does not include appropriate educator-student relationships that arise out of legitimate contexts such as familial connections or longtime acquaintance. The following acts, considered in context, may constitute prima facie evidence of the solicitation by an educator of a romantic relationship with a student:

    (A) behavior, gestures, expressions, or communications with a student that are unrelated to the educator's job duties and evidence a romantic intent or interest in the student, including statements of love, affection, or attraction. Factors that may be considered in determining the romantic intent of such communications or behavior, include, without limitation:

      (i) the nature of the communications;

      (ii) the timing of the communications;

      (iii) the extent of the communications;

      (iv) whether the communications were made openly or secretly;

      (v) the extent that the educator attempts to conceal the communications;

      (vi) if the educator claims to be counseling a student, the State Board for Educator Certification may consider whether the educator's job duties included counseling, whether the educator reported the subject of the counseling to the student's guardians or to the appropriate school personnel, or, in the case of alleged abuse or neglect, whether the educator reported the abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities; and

      (vii) any other evidence tending to show the context of the communications between educator and student;

    (B) making inappropriate comments about a student's body, creating or transmitting sexually suggestive photographs or images, or encouraging the student to transmit sexually suggestive photographs or images;

    (C) making sexually demeaning comments to a student;

    (D) making comments about a student's potential sexual performance;

    (E) requesting details of a student's sexual history;

    (F) requesting a date, sexual contact, or any activity intended for the sexual gratification of the educator;

    (G) engaging in conversations regarding the sexual problems, preferences, or fantasies of either party;

    (H) inappropriate hugging, kissing, or excessive touching;

    (I) providing the student with drugs or alcohol;

    (J) suggestions that a romantic relationship is desired after the student graduates, including post-graduation plans for dating or marriage; and

    (K) any other acts tending to show that the educator solicited a romantic relationship with a student.

  (51) State assessment testing violation--Conduct that violates the security or confidential integrity of any test or assessment required by the Texas Education Code, Chapter 39, Subchapter B, or conduct that is a departure from the test administration procedures established by the commissioner of education in Chapter 101 of this title (relating to Assessment). The term does not include benchmark tests or other locally required assessments.

  (52) State Board for Educator Certification--The State Board for Educator Certification acting through its voting members in a decision-making capacity.

  (53) State Board for Educator Certification member(s)--One or more of the members of the State Board for Educator Certification, appointed and qualified under the Texas Education Code, §21.033.

  (54) Student--A person enrolled in a primary or secondary school, whether public, private, or charter, regardless of the person's age, or a person 18 years of age or younger who is eligible to be enrolled in a primary or secondary school, whether public, private, or charter.

  (55) Surrender--An educator's voluntary relinquishment of a particular certificate in lieu of disciplinary proceedings under this chapter resulting in an order of revocation of the certificate.

  (56) Suspension--A sanction imposed by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) temporarily invalidating a particular certificate until reinstated by the SBEC.

  (57) Test administration rules or procedures--Rules and procedures governing professional examinations administered by the State Board for Educator Certification through the Texas Education Agency staff and a test contractor, including policies, regulations, and procedures set out in a test registration bulletin.

  (58) Texas Education Agency staff--Staff of the Texas Education Agency assigned by the commissioner of education to perform the State Board for Educator Certification's administrative functions and services.

  (59) Unworthy to instruct or to supervise the youth of this state--Absence of those moral, mental, and psychological qualities that are required to enable an educator to render the service essential to the accomplishment of the goals and mission of the State Board for Educator Certification policy and Chapter 247 of this title (relating to Educators' Code of Ethics). Unworthy to instruct serves as a basis for sanctions under §249.15(b)(2) of this title (relating to Disciplinary Action by State Board for Educator Certification) and for administrative denial under §249.12(b) of this title (relating to Administrative Denial; Appeal). A determination that a person is unworthy to instruct does not require a criminal conviction.

  (60) Virtual certificate--The official record of a person's certificate status as maintained on the Texas Education Agency's website.

Source Note: The provisions of this §249.3 adopted to be effective March 31, 1999, 24 TexReg 2304; amended to be effective December 16, 2007, 32 TexReg 9112; amended to be effective June 21, 2009, 34 TexReg 3944; amended to be effective December 26, 2010, 35 TexReg 11249; amended to be effective December 19, 2011, 36 TexReg 8533; amended to be effective October 17, 2013, 38 TexReg 7113

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