Teachers, no more friending your students in New York City

Nkomo Morris, a teacher at Brooklyn's Art and Media High School, works on her classroom computer last month in New York. Morris, who teaches English and journalism, said she has about 50 current and former students as Facebook friends.
(Bebeto Matthews / Associated Press)

New York City teachers will have to resist hitting the “Add Friend” button on their students’ Facebook pages.

Thanks to a new list of guidelines released by the Education Department on Tuesday, public school teachers may no longer contact students through personal pages on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, according to the New York Times.

The newspaper said that while the new employee guidelines don’t ban teachers from using social media, they should only communicate to their students through pages set up for classroom use or via professional accounts.


Professional pages are those devoted to “classroom business like homework and study guides,” the New York Times said. And teachers must get a supervisor’s permission before setting up such pages; parents will also have to sigh a consent form before their children can participate.

The measures were put in place in light of increasing concerns about teacher-student conduct. Often, inappropriate relationships involve or begin on social media sites, a department investigator told the paper.

What do you think? Are the city’s measures overboard or necessary?


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