Friending: Becoming friends with teachers on Facebook

The following article addresses both the benefits and potential complications of befriending students Facebook.

Discussion: Read the following article and discuss the questions below.

  1. Do you believe that teachers should be friending students on social networking sites? Former students?
  2. Do you have current students as friends on Facebook? If so, are there certain guidelines you follow?
  3. Besides those cited in the article, do you see any other potential problems and/or benefits in friending students on Facebook?
  4. Does your school currently have a policy regarding students, teachers, and social networking?
  5. What would you do if a student posts inappropriate content on their Facebook page? Has your school created guidelines or a policy regarding such an event? Does a teacher hold an ethical responsibility to report questionable activities committed by students outside of school?

Video: (Teachers facing disciplinary actions for inappropriate photos and comments on Facebook)

  1. What is your reaction to some of the photos and comments you saw posted by these teachers?
  2. Do you think it is the right course of action for the district to fire these teachers?
  3. Everyone has a bad day at work from time-to-time and that includes teachers too. What are appropriate methods of dealing with frustration or anger that may be caused by students? How do you cope with a bad day?
  4. What measures could the school district have taken to prevent this incident?


  • Limit your Facebook friends to former students. Let current students know that you will add them once they are no longer in your class.
  • Seek parent permission. Make sure it is acceptable with the child's parent that you add them as a Facebook friend.
  • Make sure any content on your page is appropriate and professional. This means watching your language, carefully selecting what groups you join, and not sharing any pictures that exhibit questionable behavior. You should inform current friends not to post anything inappropriate on your wall.
  • Consult your school's policies regarding Facebook and social networking. For example, you need to know what your school requires of you if you find students posting pictures of them engaging in underage drinking. If your school has not established any policies, suggest to your administrators that one be created.
  • Be responsible. Remember that you are a role model for your students and that their parents trust you to be one.
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