Just days after Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a requirement that New Jersey school districts adopt social media policies, the New Jersey School Boards Association has developed a model policy for school districts that forbids teachers and students from being "friends" on social media sites.
the rise of the Internet, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking
sites and digital communications, it became clear that school boards
wanted guidance on how to maintain proper communications between
students and teachers,” said NJSBA President John Bulina, in a statement.
Christie agreed, signing S-441 into law on April 24, requiring all school districts to adopt official policies on the use of social media within four months.
The draft NJSBA policy states that teachers may not “friend” students without written
approval of their principal, and that all “e-contact” with students
should be through district computer or telephone systems – not a teacher's home computer or personal cell phone.
The draft also states that it is inappropriate for school employees to post any items that pertain to students on social media. Employees would also be prohibited from giving out their personal cell phone numbers to students.
School districts do not, necessarily, have to follow the School Boards Association's model policy, though districts commonly adopt elements of such drafts.
aspect that we like about the bill is that it gives local boards
considerable flexibility and discretion to write policies that meet
their particular communities’ preferences, needs and challenges,” Bulina