Teachers and Facebook

From today's Globe:

Worried about the potential risks of online interactions, the school board in Norton (MA) last week urged teachers not to become friends with their students on Facebook and other social media sites and advised them to avoid friendships with former students as well.

Tom Golota, a school board member, said the ban is designed to maintain a divide between teachers’ professional and private lives and send a message that becoming too friendly with students is not acceptable.

“We want to head it off at the pass,’’ Golata said. “Teachers know this al ready, but we wanted to have something official on the books.’’

Under the policy, proposed by Patricia Ansay, public schools superintendent, teachers are urged to contact students only through the school’s electronic system and not give out their cell or home phone numbers.

Norton’s restrictions mirrored statewide recommendations issued last month by the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, which urged officials of the “importance of maintaining proper decorum in the online, digital world,’’ and warned against “improper fraternization with students using Facebook and similar Internet sites or social networks.’’

There's some interesting tension here.

I don't think you should accept Facebook friend requests from current students.

Those who have graduated and are off to college -- not sure. I accept Facebook friend requests from our grads, as I like to be able to stay in touch and hear how college is going.

Of course my "feed" or whatever isn't that of a 24-year-old teacher. It's the 41-year-old dad who occasionally has observations about Sesame Street. (Clever observations, mind you).