Classroom Technology

NYC Teachers: No More Friending Students

By Francesca Duffy — May 03, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Public school teachers in New York City may no longer contact students through personal pages on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, according to the Education Department’s first set of social media policy guidelines released on Tuesday. (Take a look at a recent discussion forum in which we asked teachers to weigh in on these impending guidelines. Their responses were more varied than you might expect.)

The New York Times reports that while the guidelines do allow teachers to use social media, they can only communicate with their students on classroom pages set up for those purposes, and only after obtaining a supervisor’s approval to set up a classroom page. The paper also states that in the past several years, there have been dozens of cases involving inappropriate teacher-student relationships that began or were conducted on social media sites.

Michael Mulgrew, president of New York’s United Federation of Teachers, told the paper that he worried the guidelines would discourage teachers from using social media tools. “The D.O.E. is basically telling the people who have gone above and beyond to make education more interactive, ‘Hey, if you want to do it, you do it at your own peril,’” said Mulgrew.

The Times also points out that the guidelines do not address teacher-student communication via cellphones or text messaging, despite the fact that there have also been numerous teachers in New York under investigation for improper cellphone communication with students. A New York official spokesman, Matthew Mittental, told the paper that the last thing the Education Department wants to do is “prohibit communication and prevent a teacher from helping a student in distress, even if that means making a phone call.” Even so, teachers who use cellphones inappropriately could still be disciplined.

Education Week reporter Michelle Davis wrote about the new social-media guidelines in more detail here.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Online Student Engagement?
How is your district doing with online student engagement?
Classroom Technology The Future of Blended Learning: What Educators Need to Know
More than two-thirds of educators expect their use of blended learning to increase during the 2021-22 school year.
8 min read
onsr edtech blended
Getty
Classroom Technology Why School Districts Are Unprepared for COVID-19 Disruptions, Again
Bad state policy, misplaced optimism, and a focus on full-time virtual schools left districts scrambling to educate quarantined students.
11 min read
onsr edtech hybrid
Getty
Classroom Technology Opinion Some Teachers Are New to Laptop Integration. Here’s How to Manage It
Let students help set expectations and make sure both you and they know how to use the tools are just a couple suggestions educators offer.
15 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty