Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friend Your Students?

No thanks.  A lot of teachers seem to do so, but not me.  Three teachers just got fired over some rather extreme allegations, and I know people who've been sent to the rubber room for way less.  It's hard  to understand adults in positions of authority who hit on high school kids.   There's not a whole lot you can say on their behalf.

Fortunately for outfits like the NY Post, which love stories like these, NYC teachers don't actually need to do anything to be accused of such actions, and since 05, they can be suspended without pay for simply being accused.  I've heard of at least two instances of teachers being falsely accused, being suspended without pay, and then cleared.

Innocent though you may be, the 05 contract renders city teachers guilty until proven otherwise.  Judge Judy asks, "How do you tell if a teenager is lying?"  The answer--"Her lips are moving."

I don't friend students on Facebook, and I'd advise you not to do so either.  Simply having done that could potentially bolster a false claim against you.  Now that there's no rubber room, I suppose they send you to file papers somewhere.  But in the case of a sexual accusation, you could be sitting home without pay or health insurance.  To me, it's not worth the risk.  Also, I don't really want to know what my students do on Facebook.  That's their business.  Mine is making them learn English.

Do you friend students on Facebook?  Is it really worth it?
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