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Hastings Schools Reviewing Social Media Policies

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – With New York City’s Education Department recently releasing social media guidelines for teachers, local administrators said official policies will be coming soon as well.

“Everybody is reviewing their policies now because the field has changed so drastically over the last few years that we need to take another look at it,” said Hastings Superintendent Timothy Connors.  “I think by the end of June we’ll know what changes we’re going to make because there’s just a whole host of changes that we need to address.”

Connors said the school district is discussing upgrading its technology inside the buildings so new rules will need to be applied before then.

“As we go to Wi-Fi, and we're not there yet so we don’t have to worry about access, cell phones are pretty well blocked within the building but we’re looking at going to Wi-Fi and if we do, people are going to have access in different ways and we want to be clear about who does and all that so we have a lot of homework to do first,” he said.

While some parents may worry about potentially inappropriate contact between teachers and students, some current students said the school has a way to avoid such issues.

”You’re not allowed to friend teachers on Facebook,” said Hastings High School senior Greg Faraone.  “They just won’t accept” the request, he said.

Other students said the school district does not have a clear policy, but it does not allow most of the popular social media networks regardless.

“As of last year, no, anything that’s like that is blocked,” said Keenan Charles, who graduated from Hastings High School last year.

Phil Goldfarb also graduated from Hastings High School last year and said it’s pretty clear what is expected when using social media networks to communicate with teachers in school.

“Once you graduate it’s a different story since you’re not a student, but in school you’re not allowed to,” he said.

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