I cannot say this is a bad law. While I wish it wasnt needed, unfortunately there are just so many problems that something like this needs to be in place. In fact, this probably just makes it easier for the teacher to say ‘no’ when their students ask because many students do ask their teachers to be facebook friends and it puts the teacher in an uncomfortable situation. Here is what the law says:
“NYC DOE Teachers cannot use social media accounts unaffiliated to the school on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Flickr to contact students regardless of the nature of the message.”
Now the good thing to point out here: These services can still be used as long as its for educational purposes. So the schools are not banning the tools. If they were, I would have a major problem with this. They are simply banning personal connections, which I believe is fine. I warn all of my K-12 pre-service to teachers to say ‘No’ to any student that requests them on facebook. Not that I think its bad in all cases but that it just avoids a potential future problem.
Here is a video on the topic:
This is an issue I have written about now several times. I have given advice about what to do when asked here. Well finally we are seeing what is going to happen – Maryland has now become the first state banning employers from asking people for their social media passwords. While it still is not banned in 49 states, I would guess it will be by a majority of states within the next year assuming it remains an issue.