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Schools and Social Media

Missouri Teachers Say Social Media Law Interferes with Education

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Teachers, students and social media seem to be all the talk these days when it comes to education and policies that need to be put in place.

First, you have the teacher who called her class “lazy whiners” on her blog – which caused all kinds of problems for her and the school district. Then you have the teachers who see social media as a way to engage with and reach their students.

It seems like a hard topic for school boards to tackle.

In Missouri, a law was passed which made Facebook friendships with students and teachers (as well as other social networking sites) illegal. Teachers complained the bill interfered with education and was unconstitutional.

According to the Kansas City Star, Gov. Jay Nixon signed another bill on Friday that replaces the old law. This new bill gives all Missouri school districts until March 2012 to create their own social networking policies.

What are your thoughts on teachers, students and social media? Does it cross a line when educators and their students are “friends” on these sites or does it give teachers another way to reach out to their students?

School District Proposes Social Media Policy for Teachers

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After the English Teacher at a Philadelphia high school was suspended for things she said about her students on her blog, it made schools take a closer look at their policies and propose a social media policy.

The teacher has since won her court case and is allowed to teach again, but the whole situation definitely taught the schools that they need a more detailed policy for teachers to follow.

Tuesday night, the Central Bucks school board in Pennsylvania proposed a new social media policy.

It bans teachers from posting anything online that is “disruptive to the educational process”, as well as “provocative” statements or photographs. It also prohibits “online activities that would jeopardize the professional nature of the staff-student relationship.”

Some other interesting ideas proposed were not allowing teachers to call or text students, or emailing them from a personal account.

Over the next few weeks and months, the school board will ask for input from teachers, students and parents before anything is passed.

What are your thoughts on this new detailed policy? Does your child’s school have one that you know of?

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