Dude, Seriously? Common Sense & Friending

It’s against school policy in Mississippi’s Lamar County Public School District for teachers and students to text each other or to be “friends” in social-networking sites. “Both texting and social networking have too many gray areas that could lead to misunderstanding and downright trouble,” the Hattiesburg American reports.


Why does this have to be a law?  I mean… I understand why Mississippi might aim for this to be a law… and yet, seriously?  SERIOUSLY?

Le sigh.

It should be a no brainer – don’t have a social life with your students.   Heck, coaches and tutors – you can throw yourself in that pot too.  Don’t cross that line.

I’ve seen old school chums ‘friend’ their students on myspace, and dude, that just creeps me out.  There’s a line – a professional line – and by inviting a MINOR that you are NOT socially connected to beyond the school yard (family friends, family, etc), you’re inviting a fist full of trouble (and the solid chance that you’ll come into contact with posse of lawyers if things even HINT at questionable).

Sure you can control the content you PUT on your PUBLIC social network pages… but can you control what others put on the page?  < Even if it’s that hour and a half where you’re not online and someone is posting to your page???  And then there’s the whole PRIVATE CHAT nonsense.  Do not open yourself to any conversations where it’s you and a minor in a one on one chitty chat session beyond the protection of the school. 

This should be obvious to anyone in education, or just anyone working with minors.  Perhaps colleges need to spend a bit more time giving teachers-to-be “the facts” about what happens when they cross THAT line… or even just spending hours explaining WHAT that line is…

The fact the law has to step in and make some hard-to-track law about conversations (which SHOULDN’T HAPPEN TO BEGIN WITH) between students & teachers?  That’s a sad state of common sense affairs.  It makes me want to throw rocks at people (either that, or I’m just feisty today).

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