School's Out

Rule of Thumb: No Facebook Flirting with Students

NYC's social media guidelines for teachers err on the side of caution.
3708011885 c6e75e820b Rule of Thumb: No Facebook Flirting with Students

(flickr.com/Caitlinator)

Looks like there’s one place the Bloomberg administration’s techno-enthusiasm can’t touch, and that’s the New York City Department of Education. After a nationwide rash of inappropriate teacher-student Facebook interactions, the Wall Street Journal reports that the city has released new social media guidelines that promise “no expectation of privacy.” Teachers, you might want to keep any ragers mum, and it’s probably best not to perv on students.

Despite the strict language, the guidelines primarily ask that teachers maintain a strict separation between personal and professional accounts. That means no friending or otherwise communicating with students on personal accounts, and supervisors will monitor professional accounts for anything inappropriate. The rule of thumb offered isn’t a bad one, either:

If a particular type of behavior is inappropriate in the classroom or a professional workplace, then that behavior is also inappropriate on the professional social media site.

These are also “strong recommendations,” as opposed to strict penalty-carrying requirements.

As we recall, the educational system takes a less positive view of “disruption” than does the tech community.

Follow Kelly Faircloth on Twitter or via RSS. kfaircloth@observer.com