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Should Teachers And Students Be Facebook Friends?

New Missouri law makes it illegal

News broke this week that a new law in Missouri makes it illegal for teachers to be Facebook friends with their students. According to a report in Mobiledia, the law is in an effort to "more clearly define teacher-student boundaries." The law does, according to the report, allow for teachers to have "Facebook fan pages" that allow for public interaction between instructors and their classes.

Do you think the law is a good idea? Do you think the law is necessary? Should New Jersey consider something similar?

Jessica Mazzola August 03, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Mom's Council Member Lauren Rosen emailed me the following, with permission to reprint: "Students and teachers are not peers! I feel it is absolutely inappropriate for teachers and students to be Face book friends and certainly unnecessary. Anything that needs to be communicated on a professional level can be communicated in a multitude of other ways. A teacher-student relationship IS a professional one and needs to stay that way otherwise it crosses too many boundaries. Teachers should not share their personal lives with students and should also not be exposed to students personal lives. It is a conflict of interest. I don't necessarily feel that a law needs to be passed on a state level but I do feel that school districts can enforce this idea by having part of the “Code of Conduct” for teachers." - Lauren Rosen
Patricia Patella August 03, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Facebook is for family and friends to reconnect and stay connected. I don't think it's a good idea for students and teachers to be friends on FB. I believe there should be some boundaries. Teachers are very important in our children's lives. Students need to know and believe the teacher is the person of authority in the classroom, who deserves their full attention and respect. In turn, the teacher will do his/her best to teach that student all they need to know to do well in school and advance to the next level. Once that line is crossed it will be very difficult to gain back the respect and attention that is required in the classroom. I asked my oldest her opinion and she said "No way. It's inappropriate. The only time a teacher should be a 'friend' with a student, is if the teacher is the kid's mom or dad." Fan pages would be fine if that teacher uses it as an instructional tool, posting homework assignments or review work. I sincerely hope it wouldn't NEED to become a law. I think that parents, teachers and students NEED to use good judgement and if a student tries to friend a teacher or vice versa, just hit the "ignore" button. They will get the message. Tricia Patella Mom's Council
Ana Lopes August 05, 2011 at 05:52 PM
No! SHOULDN'T be any communication after school hours.

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