Daily Talker: Can A Teacher Be Friends With Students On Facebook?

A long-time substitute teacher in New Hampshire is out of a job, because of how she used Facebook.

79-year-old Carol Thebarge has taught at Stevens High School in Claremont for nine years. She’s so popular, everyone calls her “Mrs. T.” and is friends with 250 students on Facebook.

That’s against school policy, and when supervisors told her to unfriend the students, she refused.

“There’s a paranoia about the Internet and I think that we’re not realizing how valuable Facebook can be used properly,” said Thebarge.

The superintendent says the policy is in place to prevent any boundaries from being crossed.

“Facebook is a wonderful communication tool among friends,” said Dr. Middleton McGoodwin. “But teachers are not students’ friends.”

There is now a petition to have Thebarge reinstated, although she says she won’t be going back to the school district.

“She wasn’t harming anybody,” said student Kayla Jennison. “She was a great person and always helps us.”

What do you think? Can it be appropriate for a teacher to be friends with students on Facebook, or do you agree with the district’s policy? Share your comments below, and watch WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.

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