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VERIFY: TEA says teachers not violating Code of Ethics with face to face teaching

A viewer asked us to find out if resuming in-person teaching during a pandemic is causing teachers to violate standard practices and ethical conduct with students.

HOUSTON — A viewer concerned about restarting in person teaching sent us a screenshot with the question: 

"Has it occurred to anyone that we will basically be violating the Texas Educators' Code of Ethics if we teach face to face?"

The screenshots reads, "The educator shall not intentionally, knowingly or recklessly treat a student or minor in a manner that adversely affects or endangers the learning, physical health, mental health or safety of the student or minor."

So let's Verify:

Our source is the Texas Education Agency

A quick search on the website and we found the Educators' Code of Ethics. It's a part of the Texas Administrative Code and it provides rules of standard practices and ethical conduct for educators. 

And in Title 19, Part 7, Chapter 247, Rule 247.2, Standard 3.2, we found the language we were looking for. So we can Verify that Yes, this is an actual part of Texas Educators' Code of Ethics. 

When we asked TEA if resuming face to face teaching during a pandemic violates that code of ethics, the TEA sent us this statement: 

"The State Board for Educator Certification makes its decisions in matters of educator discipline on a case-by-case basis, examining the facts and circumstances in each individual case. 

TEA’s public health guidance provides a framework for COVID-19 prevention and mitigation and is designed to significantly reduce the likelihood that a coronavirus outbreak occurs on any school campus. Consistently implementing these recommendations to the extent feasible is the best way to reduce the potential negative impact of infection on the educational experiences of Texas’s 5.5 million public school students. 

The incredible work of our Texas educators is helping students and their families navigate this unprecedented public health crisis. Any assertion that teachers are violating Standard 3.2 of the Educator Code of Ethics by doing their jobs and following the prescribed health and safety guidelines is unequivocally false and completely unfounded."

So we can Verify that teachers returning to face to face teaching are not violating their code of ethics.