Salt Lake City Schools to Ban Student-Teacher Facebook Friending
Granite School District in Salt Lake City, Utah plans to ban students and teachers from friending each other on Facebook.
The district has proposed a policy in hopes of preventing inappropriate relationships between students and teachers or other faculty members.
Granite School District Cites Social Networking Issues
While social networks are valuable tools for communication, the Granite School District said they can lead to problems outside of the classroom between students and teachers.
Most parents are on board with the policy and feel students and teachers don’t need to be friends.
The reality is, they're called social networking for a reason and when you're networking for social reasons, you should be doing that with your peers and children and teachers are not peers,” said Ben Horsley, spokesman for the Granite School District. “Children should be interacting with their peers and teachers should be able to have some privacy and exclusivity of their own lives.
But a few students value the ability to contact teachers about homework and illnesses via Facebook, which tends to be a quicker method of communication than email.
Last week I turned in an assignment over Facebook,” said Gavin Salisbury, a student at Olympus High School in Holladay, Utah. “I at least told the teacher over Facebook that my assignment was in his e-mail, so the assignment was on time because of Facebook.
Teacher-Student Facebook Policies in Oregon and Australia
The policy, to be voted on April 20, would be the first of its kind in Utah, though not the first in the United States. In November, the North Marion School District in Aurora, Oregon considered implementing a similar policy.
In the state of Queensland, Australia, teachers are forbidden from contacting students via Facebook, MySpace and other social networks.