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NYC Teachers Could Soon Be Banned From ‘Friending’ Students On Facebook

Chancellor Walcott Says Social Media Policy Could Be In Place By April
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(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City teachers are about to get schooled on social media, according to the Department of Education.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and the DOE are looking to put the brakes on interaction between teachers and students on sites like Facebook and Twitter.

“They don’t want to be put in a situation that could either compromise them or be misinterpreted,” he told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks Hears From Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott

Walcott said that a social media policy could be in place by this April.

Thursday’s announcement came at a time when all eyes are squarely focused on a rash of alleged misconduct incidents in New York City schools.

At least 15 DOE employees, including teachers and teacher’s aides, have been arrested in the first three months of this year. That is compared to 13 total arrests on similar charges, including forcible touching and sex abuse, in all of 2011.

“I think it’s important for all staff to be very conscious that they are staff and they are there on behalf of the students to educate them and provide services to them, but not to be online and Facebooking them and I think that’s something extremely important,” Walcott said.

Students who spoke with 1010 WINS’ Al Jones also seem to agree with the chancellor and what officials are hoping to have in place.

“I really don’t think it’s necessary to have a teacher as a friend on Facebook or anything on a social network because there’s other ways like email…it’s not really necessary to have them on Facebook,” Kevin Farerre, of Martin Luther King High School, said.

However, some are not sure of how effective such a policy would be.

“There are perverts out there, there are people that are gonna use Facebook to creep on students, but then again, you could just make a fake Facebook. A teacher could do that and do the same thing,” Noah Lucas, of LaGuardia High School, said.

1010 WINS’ Al Jones Gets Reaction From Students

Lucas said he is friends with several teachers and sees nothing wrong with it.

“I don’t [have a problem] if it’s used in just a merely social way. You can be friends with a teacher and still have a student-teacher relationship,” he said.

Should teachers be able to ‘friend’ their students and vice-versa?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below…

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