Michael D. Clark reports:
When classroom doors open next month so will the gates of opportunity for improper teacher social media contact with students.
This week’s news that a Lakota teacher had inappropriate and sexually oriented communications with some students should remind parents to be vigilant in monitoring their kids’ social media activities with teachers, experts say.
“As a parent it’s your responsibility to monitor every bit of social media your child has access to,” said Lakota school parent and PTO President Kathy Cook.
LAKOTA’S POLICY ON TEACHER SOCIAL MEDIA USE
“Computers, electronic mail, and voice mail are to be used only for business and educational purposes. Staff members are prohibited from sending offensive, discriminatory, or harassing computer, electronic, or voice mail messages. Also prohibited is “accessing, uploading, downloading, transmitting, printing, posting or storing threatening, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, harassing discriminatory or otherwise unlawful messages or images.”
National student safety experts agree and say the most recent case, which saw Lakota West High School math teacher George Merk lose his teaching license for 45 days under an agreement with state education officials, is the latest example of abuse.
Merk, whose admitted improper behavior did not cross into criminal violations, will return to his job at the Butler County high school once his license suspension ends this month. (more…)