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Hen Hud Policy Bars Teacher-Student Social Media Chats

The Hendrick Hudson Board of Education approved the district's first social media policy last week.
The Hendrick Hudson Board of Education approved the district's first social media policy last week. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

MONTROSE, N.Y. – In its first policy addressing social media, the Hendrick Hudson Board of Education bars social media correspondence between students and teachers on platforms such as Facebook.

"Teachers and staff should not engage with students enrolled in the [Hendrick Hudson Central School District] through social media sites," says the policy, approved Wednesday evening. Social media are addressed as part of the "District Communication of Material to Students and Families" policy. The final two paragraphs address social media.

Interim Superintendent Brian Monahan said the district wants all communication between students and teachers to take place through the district's email system, which assigns an email address to each teacher and high school student.

Corresponding with the public also is frowned upon in the policy. Teachers are "strongly discouraged" from "engaging with parents or community members" on social media sites, the policy says.

"Access to email and discussion boards, all of that is part of the electronic system that we have in the district," Monahan said. "Do that stuff within the boundaries of our own system. Don't go out to your personal email account, don't go out to Facebook to do that. We give you a way to do that."

The district's new social media policy does not specifically mention personal email accounts. However, Monahan said computer guidelines given to teachers when they're hired address use of personal email accounts.

Monahan said the communications system can be used to post assignments online and correspond with the public and students in an official capacity. The policy is available on the district's website.

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