Should Students and Teachers Be Facebook Friends?

Social media can potentially open up a whole new can of worms when it comes to student/teacher interactions.

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question comes to us from Josh Popichak, Editor, Hellertown-Lower Saucon Patch, and it relates to student and teachers being friends on Facebook:

Josh started thinking about this issue after reading a recent story about a football coach in Maine who resigned from his job after accidentally posting a naked picture of himself on his Facebook page. Josh says that apparently the school district where this happened allows teachers and students to be Facebook friends. And, even though this is an extreme example of what can happen, teachers and students being "friends" on Facebook seems like it could lead to all kinds of situations. Now we want to know what you think:

Should teachers and students be allowed to be Facebook friends?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mom to an 8-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is almost 2 and a 5-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.
  • Jennifer Willenbrock of Nazareth is mom to two beautiful daughters, ages 5 and 6 weeks. She was previously employed by Catholic Charities, where she worked in a girl’s group home in Philipsburg, N.J.  

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Lisa Amey February 20, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Teachers befriending students on Facebook leaves too much open for controversy, not to mention the hint of teachers giving those students preferential treatment. I do, however, feel it's totally okay for a kindergartener or a first grader to give a Valentine to the teacher, especially when they are already giving one to everyone in the class.
Effe Draklellis February 20, 2012 at 02:20 PM
I personally find nothing wrong with it, so long as you don't go to that school anymore.
Peter Schutzler February 20, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Wow. The valentine's vitriol spewing crowd missed the point of sending a valentine. Next thing you know we'll hear that Jesus was in favor of smiting down your enemy. While I do not recommend teachers and students being Facebook friends, I find the name calling and anger mongering of some to be much more of a concern.
ted.dobracki February 20, 2012 at 05:27 PM
If I were a teacher, I might start a second facebook page called Mr. D's physics page or something like that, if I wanted students or former students access to have access with me or each other. Then my professional idenitity would be separate from my personal one.
Ruth Beck February 22, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Schools in our area have rules established where teachers may not be FB friends with students. Teachers need their personal life, after all. I also have my own FB rules---I do not friend co-workers. Same reason---I want my personal life separate from my work life.


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