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Parents and social media
Old 07-18-2017, 05:18 AM
 
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I have witnessed teachers being talked about in very inhumane ways on social media following class assignments being sent out. People are cruel and of course their child is perfect and the profanity coming from parents would indicate they have had the best raising possible. (Sarcasm intented) I wonder what steps other districts take to protect their teachers. Teaching is a very hard profession and one loud mouth parent can end it for a teacher. Statistics show that people earning teaching degrees is down nearly 40% nationwide over the last decade or so. In many states there are teacher shortages. Pay definitely doesn't compensate for being beaten up in the media and by outsiders who haven't a clue.


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Old 07-18-2017, 06:06 AM
 
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I've witnessed parents and students being talked about in very inhumane ways on social media too by teachers.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:10 AM
 
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I don't really go on social media. Plus, on my accounts, I am only friends with parents who I actually know. I can't imagine reading random comments from strangers disparaging me. That must be terrible for those teachers. I would hope others would jump to defend that person?

I don't really see how schools can end this. I mean, it's free speech. Maybe if it is liable (not true) then that person could threaten to sue for damage of reputation or something like that? I don't know, but I don't agree that these people should be doing this in "public." I know parents always talked about things like this, but it wasn't broadcast all over the web for all to see. I'm sure quite a bit of the information is false or untrue. I don't see this going away.

I don't even know if it is a good idea to confront the posters or acknowledge them. I'm sure other posters have more experience and insight into this issue. It is disturbing though that some naysayers could ruin someone's reputation with a line or two of line despite years of hard work.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:07 AM
 
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I don't friend any parents ever, even after I've had their kids in my class and was friendly with them. I know a few people who have. In my district, the steps taken would completely depend on the principal, but I'm going to say it's generally either a free for all, or parents don't care enough to raise a stink (or as one parent gleefully told me in a meeting, they "all" talked about how terrible I was at the bar ).

I don't think there's much teachers can do and I don't know any teacher who would get a lawyer for fear of reprisal from the principal/higher ups which is why teacher bashing has been allowed to continue for so long.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:43 AM
 
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(or as one parent gleefully told me in a meeting, they "all" talked about how terrible I was at the bar ).
If only they knew --- we talk about them too!

ETA: oops. We don't talk about them on social media. I was thinking about our get togethers over a glass of wine. Never on FB



Last edited by Peaches Pears; 07-18-2017 at 02:44 PM..
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:30 AM
 
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This is why I went by a nickname on Facebook that most people would not identify me with when I was teaching so no one could find my page in a search and try to friend me. I never friended anyone involved in where I taught, not even coworkers. It saves a lot of trouble.

I have never seen any Facebook posts from parents, coworkers, admin, or students as a result. Ignorance is bliss.
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:42 AM
 
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If only it was that simple, my district at the start of last year required all teachers to turn in their Social Media accounts and passwords for monitoring. It went against Twitter and Facebook policies as well as the other policies in place. Too late, many teachers including myself got hacked from central office and when we went to file a suit against them for invasion of privacy they stuck the paperwork in our faces ...the case is still ongoing. My advice, stay off social media or use a different name other than your own.
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:18 AM
 
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Thank you all for the advice to not friend parents. I don't, at least not of my students. I teach in my home town so I am friended with people I went to school with, grew up with, family, and so on. They are parents, too. That's were I see such things. Some have started at least blocking the posts from me out of respect or fear. Not sure which. You'd think common decency would keep people from doing that sort of thing. It is cyber bullying. It fits the definition spot on. I tend to worry about co-workers I see mentioned and backlash against them. I also fear what I don't see about me. Who knows? I'll be the first to admit not every parent is enamored by me. I don't seek to please them. I seek to educate my children in my classroom. Some times parents don't like little Suzy being held to high standards. Or that Little Johnny did indeed receive a consequence for slapping a little girl on the backside.

I just wondered if there are any schools out there with tactics that work to keep the parents from being so ugly in such a public forum. I'm sure you'd not see it with a private school as they probably have policies in place that their child would no longer be accepted if such behavior took place. Of course public schools can't play that card, but I wondered if there are other policies in place that help.
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Crazy!
Old 07-18-2017, 09:35 AM
 
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UniversalDes--"Too late, many teachers including myself got hacked from central office and when we went to file a suit against them for invasion of privacy they stuck the paperwork in our faces ...the case is still ongoing."


That is just crazy. I can't believe your district did that. :O
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:22 PM
 
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In one instance parents were criticizing a school and the superintendent called each one that posted and talked with them about their frustrations. He then discussed with them how to problem solve with a school. In this situation it nipped it in the bud. In another situation the principal learned of Facebook negativity from a very involved mom. She set up a meeting and did the same as the superintendent. I think when people realize that their posts are not so private and actually hurtful it can help them change their posting ways. And then there are those people who unkind and don't care and there's not a lot you can do about that except be genuine and kind yourself.


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Social Media
Old 07-18-2017, 12:24 PM
 
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I don't think teachers should ever be friends with parents on FB. It doesn't matter whether you know them outside of school or not. I never was friends with parents when I was teaching.

A few parents made friend requests, and I sent them messages saying that I kept my professional and social lives separate, so I had to turn down their requests. I also had my privacy settings set up so that only friends could see my wall.

No one needs to read all that negativity, and you certainly don't want many parents to see your wall.
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:32 PM
 
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The only "social media" I belong to is PT.

Not having parents as friend on FB and/or not having a FB account does not make one immune to parents posting mean things about you, as I found out this past year.

Apparently, when I got sick in Dec. and ended up in the hospital, parents were not happy with my being out, the revolving subs, etc. They posted things on FB about me, the subs, etc. My P asked if I had seen it. I told him no. He said good and that he had sent a message to the parents about the appropriateness (or lack thereof) of their posts.

I never heard anything else.

It really was a wake up call about how little parents actually care for their children's teachers. Very few (3 at the most) even e-mailed me to see how I was, etc. When I got back in January, you can bet I no longer put my being a teacher first, as I had done for the past 14 years! I will still be a top notch teacher, just not at the expense of my health or my own life!
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:19 PM
 
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"I've witnessed parents and students being talked about in very inhumane ways on social media too by teachers."

So that makes it ok for any teachers to have their reputations trashed on social media? Are you saying that decent society should sink to the level of the least decent behavior?
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:56 PM
 
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Neither is right, which is why I mentioned it.

Ironically the post wanting protection slammed the parent and child on social media. It reminded me of how often the disrespectful talk goes in the other direction.
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Old 07-18-2017, 07:18 PM
 
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Wow, what a world that we live in. We can't even do our jobs without fear of being publicly humiliated by a parent. I just brush that stuff off, you can't please everyone.

Although, I remember in high school, we had a particularly strict government teacher. A bunch of my classmates called her "Mrs. Hitler" on social media (her name sounded like "Hitler." She then addressed this in class the very next day. I was shocked that a teacher actually heard about it and had a life outside of school!
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:32 AM
 
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Uggh! Our head lunch room supervisor does this all of the time! We are at an elementary and she does it with JR high and HS. She must think it is okay because the teachers she does it to aren't in our building. It really makes me mad though, and lose respect for her. Though, I didn't have much to begin with - she is a difficult personality and most just are afraid of her.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:51 AM
 
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If only it was that simple, my district at the start of last year required all teachers to turn in their Social Media accounts and passwords for monitoring. It went against Twitter and Facebook policies as well as the other policies in place. Too late, many teachers including myself got hacked from central office and when we went to file a suit against them for invasion of privacy they stuck the paperwork in our faces ...the case is still ongoing. My advice, stay off social media or use a different name other than your own.
They don't even need you to provide the information to hack your account. It's called a "man in the middle" hack. If you use district resources (computers, internet) to access your accounts then the district can access them as well.

I found this out in 2010 when my niece was having surgery. My sister texted that the surgery went well and details were posted on facebook. I logged on and the Tech Director was at my cubicle in minutes to see what I was doing.

Don't access social media, bank accounts, or personal email from work. If you have to change the passwords ASAP.
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You Have to Assume
Old 07-19-2017, 11:51 AM
 
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Even if you never "friend" a parent on social media, you have to assume that nothing you write that links you to your own name is "private. Experience suggests it's a small world, and there are a lot of friends of friends out there. I never post anything to Facebook or Twitter that would compromise me professionally if students or parents were to see it.

I'm not sure exactly where people are teaching that they get away with trashing students or parents by name on social media, but it certainly wouldn't fly where I live and work.

Unfortunately, many parents/students do not hold themselves to that standard. Some feel entitled to bash teachers and other school staff in the echo chambers of their own social media circles and defend the worst sort of vitriol as matters of "free speech."

Last edited by Angelo; 07-19-2017 at 06:11 PM..
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Reminds me...
Old 07-19-2017, 06:11 PM
 
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I was just thinking how some people have no common sense. There was a mom once who told a sob story to a teacher to get an exception made to a school rule. She then promptly tweeted with pride (i.e. less than half an hour later) about how she'd just scammed the teacher and advised her parent friends to do the same on their kids' behalf. When called on it, she went on the offensive and accused the school / teacher of "stalking" because they'd read her tweet.

And I'm a bit confused about that exchange about inhumanity above. Please tell me we're not seriously comparing ANONYMOUS vents about ANONYMOUS people to FB and Twitter posts by people about teachers who can readily be identified.
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:45 PM
 
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If only it was that simple, my district at the start of last year required all teachers to turn in their Social Media accounts and passwords for monitoring.
What?! How is this even legal? I would never give them my personal info. That's crazy. They don't own you.
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Social media is a catch-22 situation
Old 07-20-2017, 11:26 AM
 
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First, it is really hard for schools to control what is going on in social media. Some schools don't use social media while others do. Therefore the intervention some schools have varies. I've seen some schools step in while others don't around where I live. However even the situations on social media that happen puzzle administrators since it is the internet but more important what people say. You can't control what people say, believe, or think. Most of the times the administrators just reach to the parents and let them vent unless it is a super serious concern.

Two, schools can't ask for your social media accounts and passwords. That is a big invasion of privacy and can't force that. They can however check and see what you post which is common. As someone who is in tech and regularly uses social media, nothing on the web is private even with all the filters in the world. This is important for everyone to know besides teachers, parents, and students especially with all the cyber security news going on lately. I've seen people do lots of stupid things on social media and how quickly things go wrong even with just one post.

Honestly school administrators need training on how to deal with social media and set up ways to dealing with harassment on social media or a clear policy on every social media, school manual, website they have. Cyber bullying isn't just for students. It also counts for teachers being bullied by parents as well. Since bullying is still an issue for many schools, it should extend to the adults as well as the kids. This can be just reaching out to parents venting to simply having people monitor on social media what people say, documenting it, and more. Like many things, there are the right and wrong ways to use social media.

My advice to all the teachers here on these boards is to not friend parents or students then set all your filters to private. Although you can't control what parents or students post, you can use your judgement to see when a post crosses the line. If a post gets particularly nasty, document it and report it to your principal or school administrator.
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Social media
Old 07-21-2017, 11:42 AM
 
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Parents bashing teachers in social media is pretty common. I'm sure I've been the subject of some of it, but I got rid of all traditional social media a long time ago because it's nothing but a toxic wasteland. I can sum up 99.9% of all posts on Facebook in a few categories: passive-aggressive complaining/drama inciting, bragging, indirect attempts to make others jealous, clichéd memes, bragging, or uninformed political rants. Facebook is just making people miserable, more narcissistic, and crazier.

With that said, if you like social media, it's too bad that people in our profession are made to feel that they can't use it without fear of harassment.

And the user who said their district shook them down for their passwords...Wow, just wow. These administrators really think they can do whatever they want, even if it's illegal.

As somebody else also said, if you're using a school-issued device, be very careful.

Last edited by Surly; 07-21-2017 at 12:31 PM..
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They did it..
Old 07-23-2017, 05:59 AM
 
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It's a sad truth what they did and how they did it. They thought they could get away with it but after all the stuff I've seen I've walked away from that district because I've seen too many illegal things going on so now I"m on the job hunt and off social media. My life is so much better because of it and I'm not as stressed.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:51 PM
 
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I don't think teachers should ever be friends with parents on FB. It doesn't matter whether you know them outside of school or not.
Easier said than done for many of us. My real-life friends and acquaintances are also on social media and they ARE the parents of my students. Small town. One school. Everyone in this county has a 50% chance of their child having me in school, and have for the past 25 years.

I'm certainly not immune to being talked about on social media, just as I'm not immune to being talked about in real life.

I don't post anything I wouldn't care for everyone to see. Too bad others have no such restraint.
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