Should teachers and students be Facebook friends?

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  • Carolyn Sharette Sandy, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    That we are having this discussion in America reinforces my belief that the role of the school and the teacher needs to be re-established.

    The student-teacher relationship is what we call a "friendly "professional relationship, not primarily a "friendship". Training staff and students on this distinction is very important, and helping them to see and feel the "lines" in a professional relationship is important for everyone's safety.

    When teachers are viewed as our childrens' friends, we are headed in a direction that erodes the strength of the professional relationship of teacher and student. Additionally, student safety is at risk. Students are less likely to report suspicious behaviors of those they consider their "friends". They may not even "see" that the behavior is suspicious because they think of the teacher first as a friend.

    Our society is becoming increasingly less formal, and more "friendly", which in some ways serves us well. However, in schools it is not appropriate for the students and teachers to cross the professional "line", and facebook friending is clearly crossing it.

    There are plenty of ways to communicate with our students. Facebook is not needed and presents risks that professionals should not take.

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    April 19, 2012 5:10 p.m.

    The student-teacher relationship is violated when teachers feel they need to be communicating with students outside class privately even when those communications are for educational purposes only. No educator needs 24-7 access to a child they are given stewardship over. That capacity is strictly reserved for the family.

    That we even question whether this behavior is appropriate indicates we need a greater discussion on professional ethics in education.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    April 18, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    There should be absolutely no question about it---teachers and students abdolutely should not be friends on Facebook. Doing so will inevitably lead to horrific consequences.

    This paper alone has reported numerous stories this year in which teachers have engaged in sexual activity with their students. Not only are these actions immoral, they are also illegal. In far too many of these situations, Facebook was used as a tool to facilitate these teacher/student sexual escapades.

    Putting aside the fact that students should not have Facebook accounts in the first place, their parents must make sure that their children do not become Facebook friends of teachers. Likewise, school administrators should fire any teacher who becomes Facebook friends with a student.

    Those who are wise will not tolerate teacher/student Facebook contact. We owe more to our children than to stand idly by while Facebook is used to subject them to the risk of illegal and immoral sexual exploitation.