Should Teachers “Friend” Students on Facebook?

That's a question facing many school districts, including LAUSD. On Tuesday Missouri passed a new law prohibiting contacts between teachers and students on social media.

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While some high school students still actually communicate face to face, now the favored mode of communication is tweeting, texting, instant messaging, and Facebook.

But in school are the social media lines as strictly drawn as the social lines? What about teachers becoming "friends" with their students on-line?

"I don't like that," says one high school student. "Because they'd be all in my business. They're in my business all the time."

Some say that's where trouble can arise, and where teachers tend to use a lot of caution. Since users can't always control what their Facebook friends post, some teachers avoid being "friends" with their students on Facebook.

Now a law just passed in Missouri actually prohibits teachers from networking with students, and it also requires school districts to develop written policies about interactions between students and school employees.

Are such measures being overly cautious in this technological age?

That's something the LAUSD says is not a bad idea. In fact, the district is right now drafting its own policy on this, to avoid any problems that can develop from this electronic multi-media familiarity.

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