Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

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Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

Post by Vi on Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:54 pm

Source: http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,28348,26252941-5014239,00.html

TEACHERS have been banned from contacting students on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and other social networking sites amid growing concern over inappropriate relationships.

A revised Code of Conduct will also require Queensland state school teachers' personal sites be kept "private and appropriate".

Breaches can result in loss of pay, demotion or sacking, The Courier-Mail reports.

The move has been labelled a violation of privacy by education stakeholders and civil libertarians.

More than 30 Queensland teachers have had their registration cancelled for unprofessional relationships with pupils over the past three years.

Eight cases involving inappropriate behaviour of a teacher contacting students via electronic equipment were heard by the Queensland College of Teachers' disciplinary committee last financial year.

"The most serious matter that included an element of use of a social network site involved sexualised communication and innuendo and the teacher's registration was cancelled," the college said in a statement.

The Courier-Mail has spoken to several teachers who have confirmed they interact with students, both past and present, via their Facebook sites.

"You must not use internet social networks such as Facebook, MySpace or YouTube to contact or access present students enrolled in any school or institute," the revised Code of Conduct states.

"If you use internet social networks in your personal time you must ensure that the content is appropriate and private, and that you restrict access to specific people who are not students."

An Education Queensland spokeswoman confirmed that obscene language, and jokes containing sexual references and sexual exhibitionism would be considered inappropriate content.

"Teachers have an obligation to ensure that the contents of their social networking site is appropriate and they would be expected to remove any content which contravenes the code," she said.

The revised code applies to all Department of Education staff including principals, janitors and public servants. It does allow for social website contact in reasonable circumstances, such as staff who have family who are students.

Queensland Association of State School Principals, Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens Associations and Queensland Council for Civil Liberties all support the ban on social website contact, arguing contact can be fraught with danger.

But they are against the crackdown on private content on personal sites.

QASSP president Norm Hart said social networking sites weren't private by their nature and the code was "going too far".

QCPCA president Margaret Black said teachers were entitled to a personal life "and this code is an invasion of their personal space".

QCCL vice-president Terry O'Gorman said while he wouldn't normally support bans on social websites, he "felt it was justified" in teacher-student scenarios.

But he said the rule regarding content on personal social network sites was a violation of privacy.

Queensland Teachers Union president Steve Ryan was concerned on how the code might be interpreted by EQ's Ethical Standards Unit.

"They would not be able to discipline someone under the Code of Conduct if the Facebook is personal," he said.


Why the hell would you add a teacher to Myspace or Facebook? I've only added two of my co-workers to Facebook as i don't want them invading my privacy and telling others at work.

Eww sexual remarks? WTF. Meaning 50 year old Math teachers commenting on the pics of a random year 10 student of theirs in a bikini? "Oh wow you're so hot. Never seen this side of you before as you're usually dressed in that oversized school dress. Would you like to come over this Saturday night to my house for some extra "tutoring"?" Hahahahaha fucked up.

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Re: Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

Post by Whitney on Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:25 pm

I have many of my college instructors as contacts on MySpace/Facebook, but it's simply to keep in touch. I am alumni now, so I use them as references and they are great connections to have (since they are in the entertainment industry). They keep me up to date on auditions or possible networking situations.
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Re: Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

Post by Vi on Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:49 pm

Nah i don't think its a cool idea. Teachers are teachers. You want to get in contact with a teacher, do it the old fashion way. Go to their staff room at lunch time and talk to them there. I was never close to any of my teachers. When my year 9 English teacher had the nerve to say i was "a disturbed student" on my report i stopped giving a shit about them. I have had nice teachers, but i could never trust them.

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Re: Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

Post by Whitney on Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:21 am

Well, I don't approve if you contact each other through personal websites WHILE you are still attending their courses, but I see nothing wrong once you are alumni.
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Re: Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

Post by Chrissy on Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:58 am

^Agree, Whitney. I am in contact with almost all of my theatre professors from college.

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Re: Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

Post by Donna.♥ on Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:54 am

My high school was different. I was friends with a few of my teachers. I have most of them on facebook, and yes I am alumni but I knew them now in the same way I did last year. We're all friends. One of my friends used to sms our teacher all the time. She still does I think. I don't see what's wrong with it unless of course it's sexual remarks or something crap like that.
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Re: Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

Post by Sam on Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:50 pm

Yeah, I know friends who keep in touch with teachers and are basically like friends to them.

Same as V, I have never befriended a teacher, I hardly ever talk to them unless I HAVE to. I mean..that's just how I am. I'm actually just cautious of anyone I meet and I don't like to get close with many but that's a different story. Sure, I should become more acquainted with some profs now that I'm in college so they can give me a good word for the future or something. But I just can't do it.

ONE exception. My high school French teacher is one of the nicest and funniest people I have ever met. And I went on my summer France trip with her so it was less of a student-teacher thing.

But, good for those who do because it can help you get connections and all that. I don't think it's weird or anything. I just see social networking sites as for my friends only..but that's just me.

I just use email when I need to ask a prof a question. And my family members being on facebook is enough invasion for me already Wink
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Re: Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

Post by Serenity-helena on Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:37 pm

The only instance I know of was when my older son was still at school and had his music teacher (a bloke) on his friends' list on myspace as with a few other kids from the music department. At the time all schools were involved in a band project and he was there to boost confidence and to give advice if need be to his own pupils.

It's scary to think your kid may be perved at all, never mind from some-one you'd encourage them to confide in and trust if need be.
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Re: Teachers Banned From Contacting Students on Social Networking Sites.

Post by Whitney on Thu Nov 12, 2009 1:41 am

I had a teacher in high school who was caught with child pornography on his computer (Simply repulsive) and it became this huge scandal. He ended up killing himself.
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