Although Talvitie-Siple takes full responsibility for not realizing her privacy settings allowed anyone to read her page, she refuses to apologize for her remarks, insisting that she was referring to the political situation in the school district, which she says, is “very stressful”.
Cohasset school officials, residents and parents are understandably irritated by the comments and Talvitie-Siple’s lack of contrition. Talvitie-Siple, who was the math and science supervisor, is no stranger to Facebook faux pas. Many teachers are starting the new school year with reminders and new policies governing their online time, but this new push for Internet safety for adults, who like to stay employed in these grim economic times, comes too late for Dr. Should teachers, or employees in general, be able to post online without fear of losing their jobs? Teachers have been warned.  In the days leading up to the new school year, school administrations across the country cautioned teachers about Facebook, friending students, and the dangers of social media.
In Florida, Lee County school district issued guidelines to their teachers saying it was “inappropriate” for them to correspond with students through social media sites and urging them to be conscious of possible issues that might arise when communicating with students or parents in any manner. Lee County may be ahead of the curve, but they aren’t the only school district putting policy to paper.


Though the policies are new, interaction between students and teachers on the Internet is not. What might be more an issue than inappropriate relationships between teachers and students stems from the fact that people still seem unaware that what they upload to the Internet – stays on the Internet – and can come back to haunt them. A teacher in Pennsylvania was suspended after a colleague uploaded pictures to her Facebook page of a bachelorette party they attended. Though the pictures were removed, and the teacher eventually cleared of wrong-doing and reinstated with back pay, those pictures couldn’t be “unseen” by her students, who she has since deleted from her friends’ list. Research is emphatic on the positive effects of teachers who reach out and form personal connections with students, and in some parts of the country, schools have no policies on social media interaction.
But it seems that until recently, the possible downside of all this instant access has been ignored. While the new policies tend to cover only current students, it should be noted that recent high school graduates are likely to have younger friends and siblings still in school, and teachers should be careful when faced with friend requests from former students as well and vigilant about their privacy settings. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising.


June Talvitie-Siple, a high school math supervisor in Cohasset, Massachusetts, learned her lesson about Facebook privacy settings the hard way – she lost her job.
In February a bout with illness caused her to remark on her page that “Now I remember why I stopped teaching kids. Although many have no official policy prohibiting the use of social networking sites, most have strong opinions on the appropriate use of Facebook and the increasingly common scenario of teachers accepting friend requests from current students. The photos showed the teacher with a male stripper and were seen by students who the teacher had friended.
In fact, teachers are encouraged to form Facebook groups for school groups and activities with little regard to possible consequences.
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