Gotham Schools’ Phylissa Cramer saved me from having to write a response to the new NYC DOE Social Media Policy that was released yesterday:
Stephen Lazar, a high school teacher, said he was relieved that the department had not gone so far as to ban online communication between teachers and students, as has happened in other school districts. But he said the guidelines showed a lack of understanding about a basic reality: Students often see no distinction between email and other forms of online communication, including Facebook and Twitter messages…
Lazar said his personal policy was not to accept students’ online friendship requests — unless they are his advisees. Then he makes sure he is friends with them.
“If I am responsible for their social and emotional wellbeing then I should know what is going on in their life,” Lazar said, adding that Facebook posts have in the past alerted him to students’ mental health problems and allowed him to get help for the students.
(Full disclosure: I serve on an informal reader advisory board for Gotham)