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NYC public school teachers get robust new social media guidelines

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The Facebook website is shown on a laptop. The growing use of social media has led school districts across the country to examine their policies for teacher-student contact online.

New York City put out its first social media guidelines for public school teachers this week urging teachers to avoid communicating with students on sites such as Twitter and Facebook unless by a specifically designated professional account.

The robust nine-page new policy issued by the Education Department Monday is not an outright ban on social media contact with students, but instead instructs teachers to treat their professional social media space "like a classroom and/or professional workplace," according to The Wall Street Journal.

The release of social media guidelines for the nation's largest public school system comes after a spate of incidents in which the public school system's teachers and other school employees have been accused of misconduct with students. It also follows on the heels of the Los Angeles Unified School District's release of its first such guidelines in February after nine months of discussion.