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Filed under Opinion, Top Stories

One New Friend Request: Have You Finished Your Homework?

Teacher-Student relationships over social media sites cause nothing but trouble.

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While our society has continued to grow and develop, social media has offered a new and improved way for people to communicate with each other effectively. However, throughout the past few years much controversy over the opinions of teacher-student relationships on these networks have been widely expressed. After seeing the mishaps that have resulted from these relationships, most people would agree that sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter should remain a part of our personal lives, and not interfere with our professional ones.

Many teachers choose to create Facebook pages specifically for their classes, such as the AP Biology group set up by Debra Miyamoto, hoping to keep students involved in the class, even after they leave school.

“I think it can be helpful if it’s only for homework. Other than that, I think it’s just creepy,” said Alexis MacAdam (11).

It is true that internet sites, like Facebook, can offer resources that will help students be successful, but by being friends with the kids online, even if they have good intentions, the teachers eliminate the line of professionalism that comes from keeping their lives outside of school private.

In regard to Instagram and Twitter, there is no reason for teachers and students to communicate through these networks, since there is no educational opportunities available on them. Acting as a “picture only” kind of application, Instagram does not offer teachers or students anything that would enhance their learning, it just shifts their relationship from professional and respectable, to informal and lax.

“I think it’s a bad idea. Once you graduate, I’ll follow and friend anyone, but until then, absolutely not,” said Rob Lynde when asked to share his opinion on following students on Instagram.

Schools have started to realize that online connections between minors and their teachers cross the boundary of what is appropriate, and they have began to adhere to new rules.

It has always been said that you should be careful what you post online, because a future boss or colleague could easily find it due to the fact that it never really “disappears.” If that is true, why shouldn’t that same rule apply to the teachers you have now?

“At least 40 school districts nationwide have approved social media policies,” said Fox News while reporting on this topic.

CUSD board members are in the process of creating a policy regarding social media interactions, to try to prevent problems in the future and keep the line between teacher and student’s personal lives drawn.

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