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Pupils/Young People and the Internet

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ptbankie, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. I am a Sessional Youth Worker. I have recently completed my Undergraduate Honours Degree in Computer Science. I intend to go on to study a Postgraduate in Secondary Education after gaining some experience in the IT Industry.
    My question is this:
    My colleagues, the children I work with, and even their parents have been attempting to add me on Facebook, following me on Twitter and commenting on my Flickr stream.
    I do not accept requests from children or parents. This seemed the best policy to avoid any scrutiny. However, a recurring situation arises. The situation being that I am questioned as to why i have not connected with these people on the internet. I have had children shun my instructions (sometimes with regard to safety) requiring me to take a firm stance - just because I am "boring" for not accepting their requests or becoming friends with them online.
    I am male. This only seemed significant on one day where I was compared to a female colleague by a child. The child stated that the female colleague had accepted all their friend requests, and frequently sends them messages, photos and videos (of humour) online. The children have been taking 'revenge' by quoting extracts from these interactions in order to try and make me feel 'left out' for not being connected to their online activities.
    I thought that not getting involved with children online would be the most professional stance. Has the world gone mad?
    Another problem I had recently was a parent asking if I had any luck finding a full-time IT Job lately. When I said no, he said he would add me on Facebook to keep me posted about any vacancies he hears about. I was worried that any content on my pages may be misinterpreted, hence I have still not accepted his request.
    What do you think?
  2. ITA76

    ITA76 New commenter

    I wouldnt add. Just tell the kids that it isnt your policy - end of!
  3. Ruthie66: I think you are quite right not to be friends with pupils or parents on facebook etc. Your female colleague who has is foolish and naive.

    What she said
  4. So simple in our school, any member of staff found with pupils on facebook will be disciplined, as its a child protection issue as well as protecting you from allegations of seeing/hearing inappropriate things on your facebook page.
    I'm sure your workplace (if they don't already) will have a policy about this as soon as an allegation is made against a member of staff.
    Stick to your guns, you are being the mature professional emplyee!

  5. I have never added students (current or ex) on facebook. I agree that it is not only highly unprofessional but also dangerous.
    I refused to accept a friend request from the son of a univeristy pal because he attends the school where I teach.
    I also have not added children in the family because they have friends where I teach.
    My workplace does have a policy but it is astonishing how many staff memebrs seem to ignore it or feel that it doesn't apply to them. They sometimes forget that ex students may have siblings that will attend in the future.
    Always refuse and keep facebook etc. for your private life. You could always say you're not on facebook anymore! I cancelled mine a while ago and haven't missed it.
  6. Im always being pestered to add students on Facebook and it's always a blanket no and I tell them quite freely that I choose to keep my private life and my work life seperate. Policy at work is that we should not add students, but I know many staff that ignore this.
    Doesn't stop them from trying though. This week one of my students outdid himself by requesting me as a friend and my daughter and our cat (daughter jokingly created this 2 years ago). I challenged him in class and told him that it was 'stalker' behaviour. I then involved the whole class in a discussion about things they had posted recently on FB that they wouldn't want me or any other adult to see. Will hold them off for a while I suppose.
    I have removed all work colleagues.
    I don't add any children in our family.
    I don't add any of my children's friends either, as I teach quite a few of their siblings.
    I don't add any ex-students, no matter how long ago they have left.

  7. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    I'm not on it at all but some pupils have told me that there are several photos of me posted by pupils which worries me a bit - but not enough to open an account.

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