Luke Sheeran said he has never gotten this dreaded message: (Your Math Teacher) Wants to Be Friends on Facebook. But if the situation ever arises, the Fairfield Prep student can predict exactly what he would do: accept the request, then quickly reconsider and de-friend the teacher.
Id realize it was a pretty big blunder because theyre just going to see all the stuff that I post, and I dont want that, Sheeran said. So Id probably de-friend them, and ask them about it at school, to see what they were thinking when they friended me. Because thats just weird.
Westports Board of Education adopted a new policy last week that prohibits teachers from connecting with their students via Facebook and other social networking sites. Westport Superintendent Elliott Landon said the idea behind the policy was to protect students, ensuring that teachers maintain appropriate, professional boundaries.
Fairfields Board of Education does not have a policy relating directly to Facebook or other social media. The district encourages teachers to set up their own websites hosted on town servers but also has guidelines against using those homepages for nonscholastic reasons.
But based on an informal survey of Sheeran and a few of his friends, Fairfield doesnt have to worry about teachers and their students becoming linked on Facebook. I would not accept it, said Ludlowes Fiona Donovan. Thats just creepy.
Peter Katz, a student at Joel Barlow High, says hes friends with one of his teachers on the social media site but said it wasnt the teachers personal page. Instead, the teacher set up a school-safe Facebook page to notify students about events and activities in the music department.
But if a teacher used his or her personal page to send the friend request, Katz also said he would do the same as he does with his parents: a speedy denial. I think that crossing over personal life into the classroom can be a distraction, he said.
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