New legislation aimed at regulating student-teacher relationship - WNEM TV 5

New legislation aimed at regulating student-teacher relationships on social media

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

Most likely your child is on social media, but should his or her teachers be too?

"Absolutely for the younger children I think it's appropriate," said parent, Bill Newsham.

Cindy Tews, parent, said, "You are not a friend to that student and should not act like kind of a friend at the same level."

Some said the social media policies in schools are vague and inconsistent.

A new bill in the state house is trying to change that, requiring schools to adopt official rules to monitor student teacher interactions online. But some say it might be going too far.

"Sometimes we expect teachers to do parents duties, and that's not fair,” said grandparent Linda Johnroe. “Parents need to take more responsibility."

The goal of this bill is to help protect children from any inappropriate student teacher communication on social media.

"Obviously there should be some controls there and benchmarks," Newsham said.

State Rep. Adam Zemke introduced the bill to help put those benchmarks in place. In a statement he said: "With this legislation my goals are two-fold: to encourage more use of social media platforms and improve protections for students and staff in their communications."

Johnroe said while protecting kids from inappropriate interactions from teachers is crucial it’s also important for schools to continue using social media as a teaching tool

"Sometimes children do not get help at home and if they could ask their teachers a question or have something explained to them, that would be great," Johnroe said.

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