Privacy expectations

Discussion in 'General Education' started by cbb, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. cbb

    cbb New Member

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    Mar 21, 2015

    Hello, I am a parent - hopefully it is ok to post on this forum. I would really appreciate your insight.
    I am curious if there are any formal parent-teacher confidentiality expectations at school. Is there a policy regarding this or does it depend on the integrity and character of the teacher?

    For example, if parent x comes to you to express concerns about a child, is it to be expected that the teacher will not disclose to the other parent that it was parent x who complained?
    What if the teacher happens to be a good friend with the family of the problematic child?
    If there is some expectation of privacy, can someone share what actually happens in real life? Have you ever shared information you were not supposed to?
    I am just trying to see what I can expect in terms of privacy. I would not express my concerns if it might backfire.
    Also, I am curious how teachers feel about adding parents (of current students) as friends on Facebook.
    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Mar 21, 2015

    My school policy is that teachers should not give or accept FB requests with students. Once they graduate is another story. I would extend that to the parents as a precaution.

    As for confidentiality when parents complain about a student, that is vital. NEVER tell Parent A that Parent B complained about his or her kid. Heck, I wouldn't even talk about another parent's child. One time, I accidentally mentioned a student by first name only to another parent. By the end of the day, I was stuck in the middle of a crazy teen romance with both mothers yelling at me and my principal. I had no idea these students were dating, let alone that the parents didn't approve. Never again.
     
  4. comaba

    comaba Cohort

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    Mar 21, 2015

    I don't disclose the names of other students or parents when discussing a situation in class. Oftentimes, the parent can guess who complained or who the other child is, though I don't verify.

    Of course, if there's a problem, the teacher will have to address it somehow. She may talk to the student, and the student will probably know that either you or your child complained.

    What is it you're hoping will happen?

    I don't have a problem with teachers having their students' parents as FB friends. I'm not very active on FB, but my teachers friends who are never mention class stuff on FB, so I don't see a problem.
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Mar 21, 2015

    Absolutely no on the FB question - I have locked down my account for a reason, and the biggest reason is to keep work and private life separate.

    If what you are worried about sharing with the teacher could be that problematic, you might take it to the supervisor first. That would add another layer of insulation between you and the parent you don't want notified. How well that works will depend at least in part to how much you have had to say about the "situation" before notifying the school, and that is being realistic, not catty. If you have talked about a student or a student situation with friends, I can almost guarantee that eventually the topic of conversation will lead back to you.
     
  6. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Mar 21, 2015

    I personally don't add any school related people to my facebook (including students, parents, or other teachers/admin). Just as a precaution. I might be responsible with my posts, but I can't guarantee my friends will be.

    I also keep all matters private between students and parents. When I first started, I accidentally mentioned the name of another student during an parent meeting (just to say they were good friends) and I got a stern reprimand from my VP and a harsh look. Lesson learned.
     
  7. TamaraF

    TamaraF Companion

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    Mar 21, 2015

    Peregrin, you are right on the money...I can say I will be responsible, but I can't promise my friends are!
    I do not use names if I need to talk to parents about other students. I also would never, EVER be friends on FB with a student. With parents, I might, only if we have a relationship outside of school already.
    Parent teacher conferences are completely confidential, except with admin. I tell my admin team of any issues.
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Mar 21, 2015

    This.:thumb:

    I'm only friends with parents on FB with whom I have an outside relationship.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I would side-eye a parent who friend-requested me on Facebook, right before I denied the request. My Facebook is for my personal use, not an extension of my professional responsibilities. Unless I have an outside personal relationship with a parent (and I have had that in the past), I don't feel the need to befriend any parent on social media. I would think that most parents would recognize that boundary. Parents who don't recognize that boundary would definitely get the side-eye.

    What sorts of problems regarding another student would a parent need to share with a teacher? Does the issue directly impact the child of the parent who is reporting the problem, like bullying or something?
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Mar 21, 2015

    I would never share the name of a parent or child that complained about something, but it's typically going to be pretty easy to tell who it was. If, just as one example, a parent came to me to complain about something that Billy said/did to Suzie at recess, and I talk to Billy (or Billy's parents) about it, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who the complaint came from, even if I leave names out of it.
     
  11. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Where I work, the FB connections are not frowned upon at all. In fact, it may be encouraged. This is a very small town and everyone knows everyone and everything that happens. Confidentiality is a nightmare. FB is where parents and teachers get their daily supply of gossip about one another.As someone new to the area, I was surprised when my mentor teacher would mention a student messaged her over FB to ask about homework. I had to get used to the fact that if I turn left in the morning instead of right, I'm going to have a student ask me why I didn't go my usual way this morning... or what I was doing around 8 pm on Monday because her and her mom were in the car behind me on the way home. It's a completely different atmosphere up here. I do not (and will never) have current students as "friends" on my FB. That isn't to say I didn't accept students after they graduated. I have two girls from my student teaching days on my page and one substitues for me regularly now. I just have no desire to have fourteen year olds commenting on my personal posts, and they shouldn't either.
     
  12. allaragallagher

    allaragallagher Comrade

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    Mar 21, 2015

    Oh, I just wanted to add that I have managed to avoid adding any of my colleagues as well. I hear the gossip as is ("oh yeah, so-and-so posted it last night!") and I'd rather not.
     
  13. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Mar 21, 2015

    I'm Facebook friends with one parent but she's also a good friend of mine. I only add teachers I'm friendly with outside of school. I don't add our admins. I don't add students, current or former. I still have a lot of sibilings left to teach for some of them!
     
  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I had a parent get wickedly upset with me because I would not release the name of the other children who were involved in an incident. Additionally, she wanted to know their punishment.

    I finally had to put an end to the conversation. I told her, "I'm certain you wouldn't want me to release your child's name to other parents and I don't think you'd want them to know his consequence, would you?"

    She silently stared at me and I escorted her out.
     
  15. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    As far as parents are concerned, I only add them if I had a relationship with them before I became a teacher or administrtor.

    I'm FB friends with a few parents, but I've known them since we were kids ourselves. The other day, one kiddo said, "You've known my mom since you guys were in kindergarten!!!"
     
  16. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Mar 22, 2015

    I don't know about any legal confidentiality rules teachers must abide by in the situation you described so it may be up to the teacher's discretion.

    I would never want to be friends - in real life or on FB - with a student's parents. That's just me though.
     

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