“Teachers must be cautious in utilizing social media” was the headline in the Courier Post in New Jersey. What a bizarre takeaway that is from this tragic occurrence: “Last month, criminal charges were filed against Charles Reilly, a veteran teacher (and since-resigned town councilman) in Pine Hill [N.J.]. Reilly is accused of having inappropriate sexual conversations with male middle school students. Many of the conversations between Reilly and the boys took place electronically, through Facebook, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office,” the Courier Post reported. I guess I can see why a teachers’ union would caution members about social networking with students, but in this case thank goodness those conversations occurred in Facebook and not in private phone conversations! How much longer would it have taken for the reprehensible behavior of “veteran teacher” Mr. Reilly to be found out? Why is the union focusing on the communications tool as the problem? Why aren’t the Courier Post’s reporter and editors saying anything about how thankful that community can be that a teacher’s criminal activity was exposed in a social network site? But the other amazing thing about this article is that the union and district officials mentioned in it seem to believe that social media make good people more inclined to damage not only their jobs and reputations but children! This assumption needs to be challenged, if only to help people see that the exposure social media afford has potential positive consequences as well as negative ones – very positive consequences, including protecting children.
Oddly presented, but 1 way social media protect kids
NEW! Subscribe to our newsletter
Please sign up for our email newsletter. We publish about twice a month (you can easily unsubscribe if you need to).
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Mobile rules in the US now too
- What are we really seeing in the social media fishbowl?
- Spoiler alert: Kid loves teaching Twitter to Dad
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- High school kids show strong support for First Amendment
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments