NYC to Teachers: Don't 'Friend' Students

City sets new Facebook rules
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2012 12:58 PM CDT
NYC to Teachers: Don't 'Friend' Students
In this Oct. 10, 2011 file photo, a magnifying glass is posed over a monitor displaying a Facebook page in Munich.   (AP Photo/dapd, Joerg Koch)

Facing growing controversy over teachers contacting students online, New York City is taking matters into its own hands: The city has created its first set of rules regarding how teachers should operate on Facebook and beyond. Teachers are forbidden from "friending" students on Facebook and following them on Twitter, NPR reports. They are, however, allowed to have professional Facebook pages that the kids can follow.

"We know that we're not our students' friends as much as we love them and care about them in genuine ways," says a principal. "We need to establish specific boundaries about the kinds of interactions we have with young people." But as social networking grows, setting boundaries can be a tightrope act in districts throughout the US. "On the one hand, the people seem to be encouraging educators to use social media with students," says a law professor. "Yet they're putting such tight confines on it that I think what they're going to find is that most educators won't take them up on it." (More New York City stories.)

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