Alabama aims to combat teacher-student sexual relationships

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama education officials are trying to combat what they say is a growing problem of sexual relationships between teachers and students.

The state Department of Education has released a training program that officials in Montgomery are urging local school systems to use in teaching educators about avoiding inappropriate encounters.

The program also encourages teachers to report colleagues they suspect of having inappropriate relations with students.

The training material quotes reports that say Alabama is among the worst states in the nation for sexual relationships between school workers and students.

The program was developed with the state prosecutors' association, colleges and universities. It's not mandatory, but Alabama School Superintendent Eric Mackey is asking city and county systems to use the material.