I recently heard of several schools which have informed their staff that they are forbidden to have accounts on Facebook.
Yes, that’s right. It is being written into their employment contracts that Facebook is not permitted.
Note that this is not a case of “don’t be ‘friends’ with students on Facebook”, or “make sure your privacy settings are set to the maximum” or even “be discrete about what you put online”, all of which are common sense. This is “you are not to be on Facebook, at all, if you want to keep your job”.
It beggars belief how the people who have made this decision somehow attained the giddy heights of school leadership. Can they see themselves in the mirror, and observe how ridiculous they are? Do their dictionaries lack the definitions of such terms as ‘knee-jerk’ and ‘overreaction’?
And I cannot help wondering, are teachers at these schools also forbidden to join dating sites, porn sites, gambling sites, political pressure groups and the like? Or is it just Facebook that is banned. And what are they going to do about Google Plus?
Facebook has over 750 million members. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world. Would a school ban students in Geography class from learning about the third largest country in the world?
Schools are rightly concerned about cyber safety, but banning the world’s most popular social site is not the answer.