A quick Tech Recap –
Chairman Olson got his reimbursement to the city and town passed but his motion on viewing resumes rejected.
He did rebuke Mr. Erik Gitschier, (so did the Supt.) after Erik falsely and wrongly accused the Supt. of overstepping her boundaries regarding layoffs.
Unlike Mr. Gitschier they verified their understanding of the Mass Law with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees while Erik again tried to show he was the smartest person in the room but this time got it wrong and his motion to cut $108,00 failed 7-1.
What peaked my interest more was a student who spoke at the meeting. While I admit I was not paying full attention to what he was saying (I really did have the Tech on the computer while I had the Council on the TV) the basic message was that he didn’t enjoy his final years and didn’t get out on co-op and didn’t think the Administration did enough to help. While he was speaking I received two text messages telling me this student might be a plant and someone who was a supporter of a school committee member and a Facebook friend out to make the administration look bad.
I emailed the Supt. today asking if the student or his mother contacted the administration or specifically her office at any time in the past year with these issues and she replied no.
I didn’t ask her if she knew that the student might be connected to a school committee member because knowing the Supt. I know she would not respond to that line of questioning.
For all I know this student could be a relative of the school committee member so I don’t want to make this about this specific student or this particular member but the issue of Social Media itself.
Is is time for all School Districts to make policies on Social media and have strict guidelines outlining students /teacher/coach responsibilities and restrictions concerning on-line interaction?
I did ask a Lowell School Committee member and a person who knows the Dracut school system if either district had a policy regarding students and teacher’s interacting on Facebook.
In the past few years we have seen cases in other states where students/teachers have had affairs or been accused of providing alcohol to students so I wondered if these districts had any formal policy ?
The Lowell School Committee member said that while the subject has come up, NO the school committee to date has not developed a policy. Dracut also has no formal policy.
While I understand many coaches and some teachers use Facebook or other social media to keep in touch or provide homework, do you think it is time for these districts to craft a formal policy and how do they enforce it?
What about elected officials? Is is okay for school committee members to have high school students has their “Facebook friends? What if a committee person is like Bob Gignac, just out of high school himself a few years. he could have friends who may be seniors this year should he not be able to friend them?.
I want to hear what you think about teachers, coaches or any educator or elected officials using social media to talk with students and should each district set policy on this and how does it or should it, affect elected school committee members along with Supts. – Principals – Teachers and Coaches?