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Teachers' social media scandalizes parents

  • 1.  Teachers' social media scandalizes parents

    Posted 10-07-2019 10:41 AM
    Has anyone had to deal with a parent or prospective parent accessing teacher's social media to find photos or other information of a scandalous nature?
    I talk to all teachers upon hiring and at meetings about the importance of a discreet social media presence as well as being aware that out and about parents/other adults may be watching. We need to build trust with other adults so have to behave "respectfully" as possible.

    I'm not sure how much limit directors have with teachers in this regard.

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    Susan Smith
    Director
    Heart and Hands Montessori
    Lafayette CO
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  • 2.  RE: Teachers' social media scandalizes parents

    Posted 10-08-2019 03:51 AM
    Hi Susan. I can appreciate your predicament. I think you handle it well. You can't predict adult behavior but remind new employees that parents are not their friends either. Not even after the child is outside of their class. This can cause messes too. Good luck for a productive year!

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    Patricia Hager
    Yonkers NY
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  • 3.  RE: Teachers' social media scandalizes parents

    Posted 10-08-2019 06:11 AM
    Susan,
    We have a social media policy that states employees are not to be friends with families. When complaints arise about something that is posted that goes against the values of our program and it comes through as a complaint, it can result in disciplinary action if it reflects poorly on our agency. I have coached staff and went through their social media settings with them personally to demonstrate how to make their page as private as possible. In today's society this is almost another area of training in itself.

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    Brittany Deatrick
    Early Learning Coordinator
    Hanover PA
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  • 4.  RE: Teachers' social media scandalizes parents

    Posted 10-08-2019 08:15 AM
    We had a college student at a former center who had been warned about what they were posting on social media.  A parent found where the teacher had posted pictures using alcohol and several pictures that were in all probability taken "under the influence".  In addition that person was under age for using alcohol.  The parent could have made things far worse that they did.  We had no choice but to terminate the person.  As hard as that was it served to demonstrate to the staff that we would not tolerate that kind of behavior, which was totally against our center's values.  Sometimes it takes a live and learn experience to demonstrate to young people especially that their behavior does indeed have consequences and those consequences can affect those around them too.

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    Teri Smith
    Director
    St. James Episcopal School
    Hendersonvlle NC
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  • 5.  RE: Teachers' social media scandalizes parents

    Posted 10-08-2019 08:55 AM
    I have been told through our employment lawyer, that I am not legally able to set policies that prohibit what happens between our staff and families outside of work. We have had an instance in the recent past with families not agreeing with one of our staffs personal political beliefs and that family decided it was best to leave to a new center. because it all happened outside of our work - there were no disciplinary actions that we could take.  We have numerous conversations about what their responsibility is if they choose to connect with families on social media. ie: NO posts of any center children to any pages ever, and the fact that even if you don't want to/intend to - your personal posts are a representation to our program.

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    Amanda Johnson
    Director
    Koala-T-Kare
    Madison WI
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  • 6.  RE: Teachers' social media scandalizes parents

    Posted 10-09-2019 08:57 AM
    Hello Susan,

    In our teacher education program we educate our students on the importance of being responsible social media consumers and producers.  Although people of all ages use social media, there is often a lack of awareness regarding the "profile" being created through its use. In our university lab school our students and teachers are continually reminded about responsible social media use as the issue is ever present.  You are limited in responding to activity outside the program - keep up the message.  This is an issue many are confronting.

    Donna

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    Donna Karno
    Associate Professor
    University of Maine, Farmington
    Farmington ME
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  • 7.  RE: Teachers' social media scandalizes parents

    Posted 10-09-2019 10:30 AM
    Thank you to everyone who responded to this dilemma. One of my younger teachers showed me a way that a person could make postings private on facebook which is half the battle. So the only people who see your facebook page are people you want to see it.

    And removing the offending items was also accomplished.


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    Susan Smith
    Director
    Heart and Hands Montessori
    Lafayette CO
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