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Facebook can get school employees fired

Washington, Wed, 01 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb 1 (ANI): School administrators are increasingly facing dilemma stemming from social networking that goes beyond thwarting cyber-bullying among students.


They are also faced with balancing the rights of privacy and free speech of educators with what should be the appropriate behaviour of teachers as role models.


Janet Decker, a University of Cincinnati assistant professor in UC's Educational Leadership Program, explained that a large number of educators have been fired for Internet activity.


She said that some teachers have been dismissed for behaviour such as posting a picture of themselves holding a glass of wine.


"Despite the evolving issues, the courts have not provided extensive guidance for administrators," Decker said.


"Part of the difficulty is that technology advances at a quicker pace than legal precedent, leaving school employees and administrators unsure of their legal responsibilities."


Decker's article highlighted cases that have landed in court as a result of school policies on social networking that "were not clear or effective."


The article also examined the law surrounding sexual harassment or abuse of students and freedom of speech for public employees and employee privacy.


"In general, it is important to understand that school employees are expected to be role models both inside and outside of school - even while on Facebook," Decker added.


The study has been published in Principal Navigator, a professional magazine by the Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators. (ANI)



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