Social Media Rules Limit New York Student-Teacher Contact

Schools continue to struggle with balancing student safety and freedom of expression.  The guidelines do not ban teachers from using social media.  Nor do they address cellphones and text messaging between teachers and students.

“But the guidelines do reflect growing concerns nationwide about the instantaneous ease with which teachers can interact electronically with students, and the potential for misuse or abuse. New York City’s guidelines, which were reported on in The Wall Street Journal, represent the latest official response to a number of episodes involving teachers accused of behaving inappropriately with students.”

“In recent years, dozens of teachers have been investigated and some have been fired for inappropriate interactions and relationships with students that began or were conducted on social media Web sites, according to Richard J. Condon, the department’s special commissioner of investigation. In 2009, for instance, there were 14 such accusations involving Facebook; in the first 11 months of 2011, there were 69.”