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Former Westchester Teacher's Sex-Abuse Case Featured In TV Report

WNBC TV in New York found very few school districts have policies in place to limit electronic communication between teachers and students. Christopher Schraufnagel, a former Chappaqua drama teacher, was cited in the report.
WNBC TV in New York found very few school districts have policies in place to limit electronic communication between teachers and students. Christopher Schraufnagel, a former Chappaqua drama teacher, was cited in the report. Photo Credit: File

A reporting team from a New York television station found there are few school district policies to govern electronic communication between teachers and students. The report cites the case of a former drama teacher in Chappaqua, Christopher Schraufnagel, who resigned last year.

Schraufnagel worked at the school since 2003. Four students have accused him of sexual abuse.

The television report from WNBC-TV found more than 80 percent of schools in New York state do not have policies regarding electronic communication between teachers and students. Chappaqua is among the districts that does not have a formal policy on teacher-student contact through electronic devices.

Social media, cell phones and other devices have made communication easily available. “"In the past, teachers did not have that 'any time any place' access to children,” Terry Abbott, the former chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Education told the network. "But now teachers send a secret message to a student in the middle of the night, and parents don’t know anything about it."

New Jersey passed a law in 2014 that spells out how students and teachers can communicate through text messages and social media. New York City also has a policy in place. In other New York communities, however, it is up to each district to form their policy.

Click here to see the NBC report.

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