As a dad of two beautiful girls, this makes me want to produce great bodily harm on someone. As a business guy who writes a lot about social business, this is a dialogue that we have to have openly to help educate others.
It saddens me that social media can be used to provoke behavior like this. A case WAY TO CLOSE TO HOME in Livermore (20 minutes away from my house) has opened my eyes to the problem with social media in the educational environment. Unfortunately, it had to take the arrest of a Livermore teacher in a child molestation case to have school officials re-examine the social media policy between teachers and students. Investigators say 40-year-old Marie Johnson’s relationship with a 14-year-old boy began with text messages, Facebook postings and instant messaging. Video below.
This is not an isolated case either and I am sure there are hundreds more! In fact, several recent cases in West Michigan, people in authority — teachers, staff members, etc. — have been accused of sending inappropriate messages on social media sites to students.
In business, it’s about co-creation, collaboration and making sure that the entire organization is helping drive the business forward together. And in some isolated cases, social business initiatives are gray in terms of ownership, governance etc. There is no real black and white.
But in situations like this that involve children and an institution that I pay taxes to, it is black and white. There should be absolutely NO contact in social media between teachers and students under 18. No collaboration, no conversation, no negotiation, no committees and no center of excellence needed to make a decision. There are enough problems with the world we live in and with the educational system; and adding this to the mix won’t help parents, teachers, school officials, students and everyone else involved.
What do you think? Am I way off base? Jumping to conclusions? I’d love to hear from some teachers and understand your points of view. In this case, I believe that employers invading privacy is a good thing.