NYC Education Dept Cracks Down on Student-Teacher Relationships on Facebook and Twitter

On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that New York City’s Education Department released its first list of guidelines regarding the use of social media by employees. Within these guidelines, New York City public school teachers may not contact students through personal pages on websites like Facebook and Twitter, but can communicate via pages set up for classroom use. In other words, if it’s not a school related conversation using school related technology, then teachers people have no reason to be talking with their students. 

Some say that social media is increasing student/teacher relationships, but I don’t believe that. Students and teachers have been bumping uglies for years, but technology is what is making it easier to get caught. Now, text messages and chats keep a physical record making these kinds of relationships easier to detect.

Whether they become national news or not, student/teacher relationships are still highly immoral and absolutely unethical. Last year, Brittni Colleps, who was a coach and teacher at Kennedale High School in Kennedale, TX was sexting with an 18-year-old student for about a week before they went all the way at her home in Arlington. To make matters worse, she eventually slept with four other students, including one act that was videotaped. There was also a teacher at Boswell High School in Fort Worth, TX who attempted to start up a relationship with a 16-year-old student by texting things like, “U r so sexy!”

Over the course of my high school years, I’ve never had any type of intimate relationship with any of my teachers or any school officials. I’m not saying that I was never attracted to any authority figure; it’s just that my conscience wouldn’t allow me to cross those boundaries. Though I never took that risk, I have heard rumors of those that had or might have. 

Every school has its secrets, if only the walls could talk. I asked a few people I knew if any forbidden acts took place for them in high school. A few people actually had relations with authority figures, male and female. Sometimes it was because of the perks of sleeping with the teacher, but others said it was simply because the student made the approach and the teacher went with it, so in their eyes they got just what they wanted to begin with, authority figure or not. 

These days, a teacher and the student could be sexting right in the middle of class and no one would know. How’s that for passing notes, huh?

Teachers are the adults, and as such, must exert self-control and be the bigger person here. Teachers are still professionals in a professional environment.