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Shizuoka Pref bans teachers from personal communication with students on social media

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Like pretty much all forms of communications technology, social media has progressed from being only for tech-savvy enthusiasts to something just about everyone makes use of. With that diffusion coming on the heels of smartphones becoming commonplace, most Japanese adolescents now have a personal device with which they can connect with the rest of the world without their parents serving as watchful intermediaries, and so the Shizuoka Prefectural Board of Education met this week to discuss a new way of keeping its students safe online.

The board has decided to universally prohibit teachers from communicating with students on social media for private matters (i.e. non-official school-related topics). Previously, the board’s code of conduct for teachers made no specific mention of social media, and simply forbade “inappropriate speech and actions.” Under the new policy, though, private-topic communication with students on social media in and of itself will be judged as inappropriate conduct and trigger disciplinary action against the teacher.

While some idealists may lament the loss of an avenue by which scrupulously dedicated teachers could have been a positive factor in pupils’ lives even once class is over for the day, the board’s decision wasn’t prompted by baseless fears, as recent cases of indecent acts by teachers upon students were cited as a driving force in the new policy. Teachers will, however, still be allowed to use social media to send non-personal announcements to students regarding things such as school events and sports/club activities for which the teachers serve as coaches or advisors.

The open forum nature of many social media platforms, as well as the ability to like or share posts without adding a written message, mean there may be some gray areas the board will have to sort out regarding what constitutes “communication,” but the social media ban is expected to be instituted as early as the start of the new school year in April.

Source: Kyodo via Livedoor News via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

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Teachers have ZERO reasons to talk to a student after school...let me catch a teacher on my kids social media...

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

So email is okay? They should have defined it as all communications no matter the method.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

From an IT perspective I would have stated that all comunication between teachers and students must be through services approved by the relevant IT Department of that BoE. That way there is flexibility over which services can be used, but if they are IT provisioned, then oversight/standards can be established and applied to all communications.

It the same as not allowing company employees to contact customers and suppliers through personal email acocunts.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

That is a good thing!

Some idiotic teachers send strange messages to the students.

Especially to Girls.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Teachers are at the schools to educate in matters that involve non personal issues not be parents to the students. It should always end there.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

my teachers always communicated with my parents and NEVER contacted me directly. No reason why the teachers can't communicate with the student's legal guardians.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@burningbish..what lockdown? There has 't been one?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I think worse things can happen behind closed doors at school coming from both directions. Doors should always remain open.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I understand the concern, but... one of my daughter's grade school teachers (female) stayed in touch with her and was very supportive and helpful during a difficult time. Rather than blanket rules (which always have loopholes anyway), surely there is a better way.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Yes, I support this, teacher should have NO PLACE in the private lives of our kids. Their role ends as soon as the kids leave the school. Teachers are NO ANGLES either and I believe that many should not even be teaching.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Good idea. Keeps people from being wrongly accused too.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Teachers have ZERO reasons to talk to a student after school...let me catch a teacher on my kids social media...

Dont know much about Japan, and I guarantee that you wouldn't do anything either, not here!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

From an IT perspective I would have stated that all comunication between teachers and students must be through services approved by the relevant IT Department of that BoE.

IT Department of a BOE? Right, and the person who runs it would be 70 year old guy using Window's 95!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

From an IT perspective I would have stated that all comunication between teachers and students must be through services approved by the relevant IT Department of that BoE.

Yes, I communicate a lot with my students with the school's LMS system outside of class. All schools should have an LMS (Learning Management System), such as Google Classroom, Edmodo, etc, setup. I put lesson preview videos up a day before each lesson I teach, and review videos up after each lesson I teach my students. Students use it to prepare and revise on their smartphones at any time from my lesson review videos. Students also communicate with me directly through the inbuilt direct message system about homework problems, extra study problems, revision questions, etc. However, it is a school and BOE endorsed LMS system, and the school can monitor all communications. This is at a public high school, and students and teachers can interact through the school monitored app at an time.

My BOE had adopted LMS systems years ago, but some schools still hold out. When I moved to a new school, they wanted me to just use LINE and email to communicate with students, but I was able to convince them to adopt the BOE suggested LMS due to last year's lockdown. Many of the older teachers at my school, however, still use LINE as they are not I.T proficient enough to use the LMS system.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What kind of school is this, where teachers and students are only allowed to talk about matters that concern the school or the education? Certainly not a school I would like my kids to attend! Education of pupils has a lot to do with trust, how to trust a person that you are not allowed to communicate with.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Not always the case Ricky. I have ex-students who follow me on social media. Those who went to Australia (where I am from) and wanted to share their experiences.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I worked in over twenty different private and public schools over my years in and every one of them told me that social networking with students was banned.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But meeting them in real life at love hotels is perfectly acceptable.

2 ( +3 / -1 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let's be a bit more clear on what's usually the issue 99% of the time. It's rarely ever male teachers "keeping in touch" with male students. It's almost always male teachers who have a certain fondness for one or more of his female students. And it's not publicly posted sincerities of good luck at university or congrats on this or that. It's used to direct message to set up meetings which they adult hopes turns to sex.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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