According to a new law in New Jersey, every school district must have a policy on its books governing the way that its students and teachers communicate. The policy must apply to all forms of communication, including social media, email and cellphones. The new law that requires these policies was created by New Jersey state lawmakers because, as one state senator who co-sponsored the bill put it, kids do not know the difference between improper and proper behavior, but adults must know.
State Senator Says Law Protects Students and Teachers
The co-sponsoring senator went on to say that the law protects teachers as well as students. She said that if everyone is aware of the guidelines for behavior things are much simpler. The guidelines that must be created by each school district will apply to every single type of electronic communication between students and school employees. Phones, text messaging and all social media communication between teachers and students must be regulated, according to the law.
The co-sponsor of the law went on to talk specifically about Facebook. The senator said that one specific restriction should apply to all Facebook use because, as the senator puts it, students should not be permitted to see everything that their teacher is doing in his or her life. Likewise, she said that teachers should not be permitted to see everything that a particular child is doing on Facebook. She said that the measure's purpose was not to end communication between students and teachers. Rather, it appears that the law is intended to censor the type, breadth, manner and frequency of that communication.
Should Students and Teachers Be Facebook Friends?
With new technologies often come new laws. For example, prior to the invention of electricity, no rules and regulations needed to exist regarding the safety of electricity's use. Similarly, prior to the invention of cellphones, no laws were required to prevent individuals from dangerously texting and driving. However, with every new law comes the risk that it is inappropriately limiting our freedoms as Americans. What do you think? Is it appropriate to regulate communication between teachers and students in this fashion?
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