No Friending Students, So Says School Facebook Policies
We’re in a new world where social lines are constantly being blurred. We can be friends with our relatives, co-workers, bosses and even our mail carriers online but when it comes to teachers and students being friends, more and more states are forbidding the friend requests.
I guess it’s not surprising really, there seems to be a rise in teacher impropriety, from teachers supplying underage students with alcohol and drugs to intimate relationships, more and more schools realize there is a need to create a barrier between just how social teachers need to be with their students.
In states like Missouri and even my own home state of Ohio school districts have created a Facebook policy that prohibits teachers from friending students online or sending them text messages. The way these new rules and guidelines seem to work, teachers are not permitted to engage in any kind of private messaging or electronic discussions with students, but they are permitted to create open public forums and groups online in order to update students on homework changes or class projects and events.
So I wasn’t surprised to hear that some teachers are saying these new rules are unfair. By keeping them from engaging privately teachers won’t be able to communicate about school or personal problems with students who seek out a teacher’s help.
Hmm… Let me think about this for a minute; if a student is having a personal or learning problem can’t they still get help while at school? Can’t they use a free period to talk to a teacher or stay after class? I mean, we could when I was in school. Has school changed so much that teachers can’t make time during the school day to help a student? Is the only way they’re really able to assist a student in need is through social media and mobile messaging?
You would think that teachers would embrace laws that set out to protect students (as well as themselves). Unfortunately teachers in Missouri, (one of the states to enact and enforce a Facebook policy) cited that “it will decrease their ability to properly converse with students.”
I don’t buy that for a second. If a student is really in need of help, there is always a way to communicate and converse with students. If a teacher is on the up and up and has nothing to hide then Facebook policies designed to protect students and teachers should be welcome! It takes the guesswork out of what to do or how to conduct themselves online with underage students.
Let me hear from you though:
What do you think of the new Facebook policies being created by schools? Would you or Do you allow your kids to be friends with their teachers online? Why or why not?