Should Charter Teachers and Students be Facebook Friends?

Posted on: January 30, 2015 by Charter & Private Schools Coverage

Should Charter Teachers and Students be Facebook FriendsShould Charter Teachers and Students be Facebook Friends?

Given the sometimes more casual atmosphere of charter schools versus regular public schools that must adhere to strict district rules and regulations, teachers and student may have a more open communication standard in the classroom. But should this stay in the classroom? More and more frequently, especially at the Jr. High and High School level, teachers are allowing their students to connect with them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

The reason for this could be many; to better relate to their students, to offer relevant information about what they are learning in class, or just for the social aspect. No matter what the reason is, however, teachers could be treading dangerous waters by connecting with students on social media.

One mother in Oakton, Virginia doesn’t feel that there is any reason for teachers and students to connect online, stating “I don’t think any circumstances warrant students and teachers communicating that way. I think there’s great potential for the lines of respect and influence to get fuzzy.”

Other mothers feel that social media is a way for teachers to be leaders and role models with their students, and condones the connection her children have with their teachers. Could this be okay? Maybe, if students are taught the difference between personal and professional digital communication, says Jennifer Beaver, a teacher at South Caroline Virtual Charter School.

If charter schools do allow teachers and students to connect via social media, what policies should be in place? Here are some suggestions put together by a journalist from

  • Implement a social media policy outlining how teachers should and shouldn’t interact on social media.
  • Faculty shouldn’t interact directly with students that they may “follow” on Facebook and other social media platforms.
  • Texting should be kept to a minimum and only related to assignment-related issues.
  • Every school should have a privacy policy addressing being photographed without permission.

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