Teachers On Leave: How To Protect Your Children

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Knox County (WVLT) A Karns middle school teacher is on leave after allegations of inappropriate conduct toward students.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford has the details and explains what the school system is doing to keep your children safe.

Two Knox County teachers on leave and under investigation in less than a month.

Kelly Phibbs, a Halls parent says, "It just seems to be happening more often."

David Hylton is a seventh grade social studies teacher in his second year at Karns Middle School.

Russ Oaks, the Knox Co. School Spokesperson says, "placed on administrative leave on October 1st while human resources investigates allegations of inappropriate conduct toward students."

Meanwhile Halls high school teacher, 43 year old Corey DeHart is accused of inappropriate contact with a female student sometime before September 19th.

Phibbs says, "you wonder if it's true or if it's just something that kids hear now just to get back at them. I don't know."

Halls Mother of three Kelly Phibbs says she would hope teachers wouldn't take advantage of students with their authority, but says you can't point any fingers until it's proven.

"It's really bad if it is and it's bad if it's not because people always remember that about that teacher."

Oaks continues, "one is too many, but I can think of three or four cases over the last year that we're discussing."

Knox County School spokesman Russ Oaks says every employee is required to go through an orientation that clearly states the teacher-student relationship policy.

"Staff members shall use good judgment in their relationships with students beyond their work responsibilities and/or outside the school setting and shall avoid excessive informal or social involvement with individual students."

Oaks encourages parents and students to report anything suspicious.

"Some of those allegations we find to be founded, many of those allegations we find to be unfounded."

All 7,500 employees get a local and national background check, but that only goes so far.

"The challenge with that is it tells us what someone has done. It doesn't tell us what they may do."

Oaks says they're working through the current allegations, it's standard procedure for both teachers to remain on leave with pay until the investigation is complete.

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