Oregon sex abuse case highlights teacher-student texting debate

This case out of Bend raises many questions and concerns about student-teacher texting. Should students be individually texting their teachers?

Oregon Teacher Student Sex Abuse
Redmond Proficiency Academy director Michael Bremont at school (left) in Redmond, Ore., and in the Deschutes County Jail. (AP Photos/The Bulletin, Rob Kerr; Deschutes County Jail, File)

BEND, Ore. (AP) – The text messages, some flirty, from the leader of a Central Oregon charter school who is accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl, have raised a question about teacher-student boundaries and new technology: Should teachers send individual texts to students?

A state schools group says texts from teachers should be limited to groups, such as sports teams or a class.

But the Redmond Proficiency Academy has expected teachers to be available for students after class, making teacher cell numbers available, and encouraging students to call, text or email with questions about assignments, even on weekends, The Bulletin of Bend reported.

Court records show a relationship began in 2009 between the academy’s director, Michael Bremont, and a female student that included text messages.

“… The text messages started and this allowed Michael to say things to her, flirt with her and write things he may not otherwise say,” says a warrant for Redmond police to search for cellphones in his vehicle.