Support is growing for creation of a task force to study policies that could prevent inappropriate relationships between teachers and students in Kentucky.
Jimmy Adams, deputy executive director of the Education Professional Standards Board, said he would ask the board to consider convening a task force.
State Rep. Regina Bunch, R-Williamsburg, has made such a recommendation.
"It's part of what our responsibility is to the parents and students of the commonwealth," Adams said.
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Alicia Sneed, legal services director for the professional standards board, said 37 cases involving inappropriate relationships between teachers and students were initiated in 2014, with 38 in 2013.
Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said state Department of Education officials were supportive of a task force.
Bunch said she was concerned about the cases and made the recommendation for a task force, in part, because there had been two issues of inappropriate relationships in her area this year.
Bunch said she thought there should be guidelines for school staff aimed at curbing the problem and measures "to hold everyone accountable."
The lawmaker said she was concerned that social media could be a factor in some cases.
A former U.S. Department of Education official who conducted a national study of 2014 media reports about inappropriate relationships found that in Kentucky, social media and text messaging was involved in 36 percent of the cases.
The former official, Terry Abbott, also found that based on the media reports, Kentucky in 2014 had the second highest per-capita rate in the country of inappropriate relationships between school employees and students.
Kentucky was just behind Alabama, which had the highest rate of cases in the country, and just ahead of Louisiana, said Abbott, who was chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Education during the George W. Bush administration.
Abbott currently is chairman of Houston-based Drive West Communications, which collected data daily from media reports in every state in 2014 to catalog how often the inappropriate relationships were occurring and to identify trends.
Among Abbott's recommendations is that teachers be required to report to principals beforehand that they plan to be alone in a classroom with a student.
Brad Hughes, spokesman for the Kentucky School Boards Association, has collected media reports that include the arrest several weeks ago of a man facing a criminal charge stemming from his time as a McCreary County teacher.
He was charged with unlawful use of electronics to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities by allegedly using his cellphone on Oct. 21.
In February, a McCracken County middle school teacher resigned after she was charged with having inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old female student.
In late March, two teachers in southern Kentucky resigned amid an investigation of alleged inappropriate contact with students.
And in Georgetown, a former Scott County High School teacher charged with having a sexual relationship with a student is scheduled to go on trial in June, according to media reports.