Saturday, March 16, 2013

Who Do They Think They Are?

     It usually takes a lot to make me upset.  At least outside of my family life (sorry family.)  Today something took place that really hit my buttons, and I'm so fired up about it right now.  I'm still thinking about how I want to handle it, so I thought I'd write about it here first.

    I know in this day and age, employers have a lot more to consider when it comes to their employees' behavior.  Facebook and Twitter have made a lot more for them to deal with in those regards.  And I do understand that they don't want their employees, in any business/company, posting negative remarks about their businesses, or giving secrets away, or whatever else may occur.  I'm sure they also do not want anyone associated with their company/business behaving in wild, erratic behavior and posting provocative pictures/posts where it sometimes will be connected with the business' name.  Totally understandable.  But, does any company, business, organization, etc, have the right to tell anyone who they can and/or can't be friends with on one of those networking sites?

     Case in point, our Board of Education came up with a Social Networking policy recently.  Again, I do understand these things need to be done, and in many cases, WHY they need to be done.  I have had children in the local school system for the past 16+ years.  In those years, I have become close with many of the teachers, staff, administrators of their schools, especially our elementary school.  I had even "friended" some of them on Facebook as I came across them, or searched out the ones I had really become close to.  Now, this policy is telling these BOE employees that they can NOT be friends with parents of students.  None of my children's CURRENT teachers are my "friends" on Facebook - I never wanted to put them into a situation that might be awkward.  One or two could become my younger children's teachers in the future, and during that time, I would definitely "unfriend" them to keep things fair.  But to tell me that I can't be "friends" with someone that I saw several times a day, helped in their classrooms whenever I could, and enjoyed being with them, I don't feel is right.

     What do you think?  Am I wrong to feel this way?  Our school recently closed, because of a new, larger school being built.  I no longer get to see my "friends" twice a day or more, so I liked keeping in touch on Facebook.  It was an easy way to say hi, how was your day, see what they were up to, how their kids were, etc.  Now their employer is saying that isn't allowed.  I know the ones that have already "unfriended" me took the time to let me know why, and none of us are happy about it, but I am certainly not going to put their jobs in any kind of jeopardy just to talk together on a social networking site such as Facebook.  I will also be letting the BOE know of my opinion, possibly the local newspaper as well, and who knows, maybe even a Board meeting soon.  But does ANY company have the right to require this of their employees?  Can a McDonald's manager tell his employees that they can't be friends with a Burger King employee, or any of the customers?  Who decides these things, and where do you draw the line?  They may write the paychecks, control your time ON THE JOB, and more, but can they tell you how you can socialize with your friends, and who you can be friends with?

     I think I will end my rant for now, but I'm sure there will be more to come on the subject.  I'd love to hear your comments too.  Has this happened to you?  Do you know of any legislation or controversy on this subject?  Let me know.


  1. Our school district does not have such a policy. I have a policy however that I do not friend students. I just think they don't need to be looking at my timeline. I also have not 'liked' the district's page simply because I don't want to give them access to my page and I don't know if liking that page would do that. I think policies like this come about because districts are afraid of parents finding yet another reason to file a lawsuit. That's my guess. I wouldn't like it as a teacher but there are a lot of things we 'can't do' as teachers that our students and parents are quite free to do. :)

  2. I don't agree with this policy--but then who am I? And yes, employers do try to tell employees what and who they are allowed to associate with. At a job I was working at--if someone left for whatever reason-suddenly you were not allowed to contact or be contacted by them--this rule has been somewhat relaxed when it comes to me--I think!!

  3. So I'm way behind on your blog Donna, lol. I kind of think it's a good policy though in this situation. I think it protects the teachers. Quite frankly parents too. Although, I wonder what happens when you have a teacher who's also a parent. Are they not allowed to friend their co-workers?