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Social media policies: Should schools have them?

Mashable reached out to schools across the U.S. and asked: Should there be an overall policy for social media use?

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Jul 3, 2013 7:15PM

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and Tumblr did not exist when I was in high school. Instead, our biggest forms of social distraction were passing notes in class and flirting. As in face-to-face and not via 140 characters or scandalous Snapchat photos.

So how do teachers today manage student social media habits in the classroom?

From Redbook: Are social media killing your relationship?

Mashable reached out to schools across the U.S. and asked: Should there be an overall policy for social media use?

Here’s what people had to say:

Hans Mundahl, director of technology and integration at the New Hampton School, a private boarding high school in New Hampton, N.H., said his school has three levels of policies. 

“Teachers are not to friend or follow any of their students on any social media channel. We, teachers and staff, are sort of the 'parents-plus.'  It's important to establish great relationships with students offline that are not necessarily 'friend' relationships online.”

Robert Dill, who teaches government, psychology and sociology at the public Forest Hills High School in Sidman, Pa., told Mashable that his school doesn’t have a formal policy in place.

“Teachers are still cautioned to not discuss a student's grades or performance over social media — but really, that's the only rule of thumb,” Dill told Mashable. “I know several teachers who are Facebook friends with their students.”

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New York-based attorney Pedram Tabibi thinks it’s important for schools to have a social media policy in place.

"Social media policies are not meant to be some sort of restrictive or privacy-violating blanket,” Tabibi told Mashable. “But if you take your community's culture and values into consideration, you can nail down some sort of structure that will prevent both the staff and students from getting into trouble down the road.”

Read the complete story on Mashable.

Tell us: Do you think schools should have a social media policy? Why or why not?

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