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Missouri Law: Teachers Cannot Be "Friends" With Students


Clyde
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I just had a kid I know show me his FB page. The very , very first post on his wall was from a high school kid talking about drinking a particular kind of beer.

 

I'm a teacher. What do I do when I see that ? Ignore it, right? The kid then gets into a traffic accident later. Mom asks if I had access to the kid's FB page why didn't I do something about it when I saw the kid's post. Not fair to me obviously. Not the issue. It's not about fair. It's about protecting the school district AND the teacher.

 

Of course, one could argue that a teacher might see it and intervene and help the kid. Hello, exception. School leaders can't deal with exceptions. They have to govern by the rule.

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Clyde, I think some of your argument is silly but oh well...

 

I think the real issue here is schools routinely cover up "incidents" for several reasons and then want to appear proactive with something like this that effects the good 99% you quoted because they don't deal with the 1%s on their own.

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Clyde, I think some of your argument is silly but oh well...

 

I think the real issue here is schools routinely cover up "incidents" for several reasons and then want to appear proactive with something like this that effects the good 99% you quoted because they don't deal with the 1%s on their own.

 

Don't leave me hanging. Tell me which part you disagree with. No debate with no details.

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Clyde, your last example is a parental issue.

 

Which one? Teacher seeing a kid being drunk on FB? Of course, the parents are part of the issue. However, again, I'm looking from an administrator's view and want to protect the teacher and the school. I'm not trying to fix parenting. My challenge is the school and the district.

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Nope. However, that is where some students are the most comfortable asking questions.

 

Are they asking them on your wall or are they asking them in a message?

 

If you changed your policy to no FB friends and no school postings on FB would students stop asking for help? Would they not go to another forum/method to ask? Could they not email you? Could they not call you?

 

I'm struggling with the notion that they would only seek help on FB.

 

This particular issue is not why I would ban it. I'm just curious as to why FB has to be the forum.

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Are they asking them on your wall or are they asking them in a message?

 

If you changed your policy to no FB friends and no school postings on FB would students stop asking for help? Would they not go to another forum/method to ask? Could they not email you? Could they not call you?

 

I'm struggling with the notion that they would only seek help on FB.

 

This particular issue is not why I would ban it. I'm just curious as to why FB has to be the forum.

 

Messages are usually in my inbox, but sometimes they are posted to my page.

 

It doesn't have to be the only method and it is not the only method that students seek assistance outside of school. However, it IS a good method for me and it IS NOT a problem, so that is why I use it. I can't remember exactly how long that I have been on Facebook, but I have always allowed students to "friend" me.

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It's not a matter of what medium the student uses.

 

Think about it. By that argument you wouldn't have them use a book because kids don't read anymore. You'd just post everything on FB.

 

Kids will go where they HAVE to go in order to do what they HAVE to do. I don't in any way question the thought behind TB&G and, in fact, I applaud her for going above and beyond.

 

G, as to your "they wouldn't be efficient or inclusive, I simply disagree. Again, the students will go where they have to go.

 

The bigger point is that an administrator/principal/superintendent has to look at the big picture. He obviously doesn't have to worry about TB&G and her motives. However, he/she has to look at what's best for the school/district and IMO that means no teachers friending students on FB. Again, due to there being viable alternatives to FB (I'd challenge anyone to point out why a student would not go to a blog if that's where the info is) AND because FB opens up a whole can of potential big, fat, and ugly worms it's simply not a smart move by the district to allow it. One lawsuit over a teacher being inappropriate in some way due to interactions on FB is all it takes to prove my point.

 

We THEN crush that teacher and say "that's why we don't friend students on FB."

 

99% of the teachers are like TB&G. They do it for the right reason. I , as an administrator, have to cognizant of and make rules for that 1%. No different than any other aspect in life that we already deal with.

 

As always, I'm open to suggestions as to where I'm wrong.

 

That's the problem with our society. We penalize the 99% just because of the 1%. We write stupid laws and rules because of the 1% instead of holding them accountable to the laws and rules that are all ready in place. Teacher/student interaction on FB doesn't need to be banned. If the teacher is using it inappropriately, deal with him or her. There are policies that address misuse of the computer and other ethic issues and consequences for such actions. Doesn't sound to difficult to me.

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That's fine if you or others want to do it that way. Students are already ON Facebook. They don't have to go someplace else for help.

 

One thing that works great for me is that I have my inbox messages sent to my phone. As a result, no matter where I am at, when students (or friends) send me messages, I get a text that I can respond to immediately.

 

Plus the majority of kids have cell phones and a large number of them also have the facebook app on their phone which makes it even easier.

 

I understand both sides. Just have to be careful, and just like any thing else, if something bad happens report it to your superiors and the students parents.

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That's the problem with our society. We penalize the 99% just because of the 1%. We write stupid laws and rules because of the 1% instead of holding them accountable to the laws and rules that are all ready in place. Teacher/student interaction on FB doesn't need to be banned. If the teacher is using it inappropriately, deal with him or her. There are policies that address misuse of the computer and other ethic issues and consequences for such actions. Doesn't sound to difficult to me.

 

It is unfortunate. However, in today's litigious society it's absolutely necessary to protect the pocketbooks of teachers/taxpayers/school districts. That's my point. The 1% can end up costing a lot of $$ in a lawsuit.

 

Yes, we can punish the teacher. However, the lawsuit punishes everyone.

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I just had a kid I know show me his FB page. The very , very first post on his wall was from a high school kid talking about drinking a particular kind of beer.

 

I'm a teacher. What do I do when I see that ? Ignore it, right? The kid then gets into a traffic accident later. Mom asks if I had access to the kid's FB page why didn't I do something about it when I saw the kid's post. Not fair to me obviously. Not the issue. It's not about fair. It's about protecting the school district AND the teacher.

Of course, one could argue that a teacher might see it and intervene and help the kid. Hello, exception. School leaders can't deal with exceptions. They have to govern by the rule.

 

So it's the teacher's fault and not the parents? Come on that's a bit of a stretch, if this were the case then I guess any "responsible adult" that the student was friends with could also be called out for not doing enough.

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So it's the teacher's fault and not the parents? Come on that's a bit of a stretch, if this were the case then I guess any "responsible adult" that the student was friends with could also be called out for not doing enough.

 

No way you can assume I'm blaming teachers if you read the entire post.

 

Remember that I'm stating my position as if I were the boss. Your "responsible parent" argument would have no play with me since I'm not responsible for them. I'm speaking strictly from the school district's point of view.

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