Law laid down to teachers over social media interaction with students
While it always seemed just a tad inappropriate for teachers to interact with students via social media networks, guidelines have been laid down to ensure teachers get the message.
A teacher liking or commenting on the status of one of their students always seemed a little weird to us and while the practise is probably not that common in the majority of schools, it is set to be eradicated completely in the near future.
Reacting to recent incidents involving bullying of students and teachers on Facebook, the Teaching Council in Ireland are set to issue guidelines to their 70,000 Primary and Secondary school teaching membership about social media interaction with their students.
According to a report in The Irish Times today, the new code says teachers must ensure “any communication with their students’’ is appropriate, with forms of communication including contact via social networking sites, email and by text message.
Under the new rules, teachers would be in breach of the code if, for example, they posted inappropriate images on a publicly accessible Facebook page, or we can only assume, issued students with invitations to join in their latest Farmville adventure.
Also included in the guidelines are measures to prevent expensive grinds from teachers to students and, in what seems like a blatant statement of the obvious, an absolute prohibition on the use of drugs or alcohol while in school.
Teachers who breach the code will be subject to the council’s new disciplinary procedures, which will go before the Dáil next year and could be suspended or even worse, struck off the council register if found to be in violation of the guidelines.