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Should Teachers and Students Be Facebook Friends?

New York City doesn’t think so. What do you think?

 

New York City has just ruled that its teachers can’t become friends on Facebook with students or follow them on Twitter. According to Reuters, The New York Times reported that new guidelines prevent any interaction between teachers and students over social media sites. These guidelines don’t prevent teachers from communicating with their students through approved official online accounts. The teachers also can still maintain their own personal social media sites – just not communicate with their students through those sites.

This move reportedly was originated by growing concerns nationwide over inappropriate interactions between teachers and their students. In is reported that in just 11 months last year, the NYC Department of Education investigated 69 cases of inappropriate Facebook interactions between teachers and students.

So what do you think? Should teachers be allowed to be Facebook friends with their students?

Kim Roberto May 05, 2012 at 10:16 PM
This should just be common sense! When my students ask me if I have a FB account, I just tell them no. If they happen to find out that I do, I just firmly tell them I do not friend any students, and that is the end of it. No discussion.
Marne M May 06, 2012 at 12:20 AM
My child's teacher has a Facebook account, but she teaches kindergarten so there's no real student/teacher interaction worries. My husband has her as one of his friends, and I know that he enjoys having an open line of communication with her, since our daughter can be challenging at times! That said, I think that teachers should have a degree of separation from their students, so that they can also be free to have their own lives. We live in a world of increasing transparency, so we all have to be careful of what we put online (especially public servants of any variety), but teachers should still be allowed to have opinions and interests outside of school. And I think that having a no social media contact rule is best for the safety of both the students and the teachers!
Soorma Bhopali May 06, 2012 at 03:55 AM
agreed. please check s out at www.shouldteachersandstudentsbefacebookfriends.com.
Vanzetta Evans (Editor) May 06, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I like this idea. I have a number of teacher friends who have pages under pseudonyms because they don't want their students to find them. Some also have fan pages where students can ask questions or they'll provide supplemental information for their students. They're careful and don't want to risk being fired because a student finds a photo of them with a drink in their hand or in a bathing suit at the beach and it turns into something bigger.
Eileen Waring May 09, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Ms. Roberto: I think your thoughts and actions are excellent. I applaud you

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