LPSS teacher disciplined over Internet communication with student

Photo Credit: The Daily Advertiser
Photo Credit: The Daily Advertiser

(The Daily Advertiser) – The Lafayette Parish School System has disciplined an employee  for violating its policy on electronic communication with students.

The discipline, which occurred in recent weeks, came after a parent spoke to a principal and district staff about a teacher who may have violated the policy, said Joe Craig, the district’s chief administrative officer.

“The school administration and district staff conducted a thorough investigation of the incident and the employee was disciplined consistent with policy,” Craig said via email.

That policy requires all electronic communications between teachers and students “be appropriate and in accordance with state law.”

Craig said he could not identify the employee who was disciplined, the nature of the discipline or the school where he or she works.

The policy does not specify the type of discipline an employee could face for a violation, only that it could range “up to and including termination of employment.”

However, Craig confirmed he sent an email Nov. 21 to Jeremy Perez, a Lafayette Parish parent, regarding an Acadiana High teacher.

In social media posts and in an interview with The Daily Advertiser, Perez said he contacted school and district officials after a man he identified as Cade Dawes sent Facebook messages to Perez’s daughter, a 16-year-old Lafayette High student.

Personnel records show Dawes is a science teacher at Acadiana High who began working at the school in August. Documents also indicate Dawes is a coach at the school.

Perez said his understanding is that Dawes first saw his daughter at Red Lerille’s Health & Racquet Club. He is unsure how Dawes found his daughter’s name. In Facebook messages, allegedly from Dawes to Perez’s daughter, the man asked the teen what grade she is in. He later told her he saw her at an October football game and “pointing at me after the game.”

“Oh haha yikes that’s awkward,” Perez’s daughter responded.

The man later asked if she had Snapchat, then followed up by saying “Sorry that was so random lol.”

“He basically sought her out,” Perez said.

In his email to Perez, Craig said the teacher’s conduct was “unprofessional” and that the disciplinary action “was significant.”

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