The Instigator
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The Contender
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Teachers should not be allowed to contact students through social media.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,868 times Debate No: 64232
Debate Rounds (4)
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Round 1 will be Acceptance

Rounds 2&3 will be arguments and rebuttals

Round 4 will be rebuttals and conclusion


I accept. Great topic, looking forward to having a well-mannered, well-versed debate!
Debate Round No. 1


The downside is evident in the slew of tech-related scandals over the past year. Last October a Pennsylvania math instructor pleaded guilty to texting a 16-year-old student and asking for naked photos, promising extra credit if he was "turned on." In Texas, a high school teacher was sentenced to five years in prison after exchanging hundreds of pages of texts with an 18-year-old student before inviting him to her home and having sex with him and four other students. (1)

When students and teachers are friends on social media sited it is clear that things can get out of hand very quickly. There need to be boundaries of what can and cannot be done online. The relationship between teacher and student should stay in the classroom and does not need to venture out for any reason.

Despite being tech-savvy, teens often don't realize that once they "friend" a teacher on Facebook, he can see everything they post on the site"party videos, snarky comments, soul-baring confessions. And that can place educators in an awkward position. An instructor, for example, might find it impossible to judge a student fairly after reading profane comments or viewing compromising photos. (1)

Teachers can change their opinions of students after they have seen what they post on their accounts online. If they see something that is offensive they might tend to judge that particular student a little more harshly than they might have done before.

Also, if a teacher suspects abuse in anyway after reading something that a student has posted they are legally obligated to report it to the authority and this can cause problems for both sides. I can imagine that no teacher would want to report something that they saw on a social media site and cause problems for everybody involved and it turns out to be nothing at all. This goes the same way for a student seeing something on a teachers Facebook page or Twitter account that maybe the teacher does not want to student to be seeing.

"The number of school personnel having inappropriate contact with students has been just exploding all across the country," state Sen. Diane Allen, R-Burlington, a sponsor of the bill, told The Star-Ledger. "... It's social media that's really to blame. There's just so many ways school personnel can contact and have relationships with students." (2)

With the internet and cell phones, teacher and student relationship have become bigger problems than they were before. It is way too easy for them to chat and meet up which can lead down a dangerous path.

"A police officer had taken a student in custody and was looking at his phone because he had been arrested for shoplifting. He was looking at text messages going back and forth and it turned out it was the teacher. They were getting ready to go out on a camping trip, just the two of them." (3)

This should never be allowed to happen. Teachers and students do not need to be going on camping trips alone. But yet another reason why they should not be allowed to communicate using social media/cell phones.

I think relationships should stay on the professional level when dealing with students and teachers. There is never any need for it to be anything more.



My opponent begins stating that there is a downside to this social media contact by referencing two different tech-related scandals. These arguments, however, are not quite the same seeing as they both were due to texts, and not through social media. Texting, a private ordeal that is (for most occasions) between just two people, is far different from the publicly viewed social media sites that are seen today.

They go on to state that "things can get out of hand very quickly" and that there needs "to be boundaries of what can and cannot be done online." This may be true, but with these boundaries in place social media can be a place of educational advancement and supplement. Boundaries could be as simple as

- Social Media Contact is restricted to public Twitter Tweets, where everyone is able to see them.

Furthermore, this argument that teachers "can see everything they post on the site" may be true, but only if the student friends the teacher from their personal page. It is quite easy to set up a second page that the student could use strictly for academic purposes. In fact, there are several schools that have already implemented this, using Twitter to send out reminders to students' secondary Twitter pages telling them about tests and homework.

Likewise, Twitter does not require that the teacher follow the student. If students follow the classroom page, contact can be achieved without any personal information being released to the teacher in question. This can be beneficial, as well as a form of contact that has progressed with the advancement of technology [1].

Addressing my opponent's point on abuse. I fail to see how this would be a bad thing; it may be difficult for the teacher to do, or the student in that case, but addressing abuse and fixing the problem would be a better outcome than the continuation of the abuse.

The next couple of paragraphs address the outrageous increase in inappropriate contact between teachers and students, while blaming social media for this. Yes, technology has proven to show an increase in accessibility, yet this is not a reason to block it off completely. For example, the police officer that looked through the phone is quite lucky that texting between the student and teacher existed (once again, not social media). Had we cut off contact through social media, the camping trip could have been planned through word of mouth; something that may have gone unnoticed.

I agree that things need to stay on a professional level, but there is no reason that things aren't able to remain at this status with the inclusion of social media. It is a format of instantaneous contact that can push information to the students in a matter of seconds. It is an ever-expanding industry, and one that many students are extremely comfortable with. It is communication that, if adhered to the boundaries, can be safe and effective.


[1] -
Debate Round No. 2


When a teacher and a student are "friends" on a social media site things can get out of hand quickly as I stated before. If they are friends on the site then the teacher can see anything that they post in the site. As i stated before this can lead to problems because then they are legally obligated to report suspected abuse.

This could be a bad thing because if it turns out to be nothing at all then the teacher may have ruined the chance to go on and teach that particular student. This could also lead to the students home life being turned upside down.

There need to be stricter laws as to what teachers and students are allowed to do online.


To begin, my points stating that several of the examples were due to texting, and not social media, were dropped. Those arguments are extended.

Pro goes on to state that when a teacher and student are friends on social media, situations can spiral out of control. This neglects my point stating that there can be contact without teachers being a student's social media friend. For example, there could be a Facebook class page, where homework and information is posted. Likewise, there could be a Twitter page that the students follow to understand what is happening in the class.

My opponent fails to explain how reporting this abuse is bad. By this logic, it is better for the abuse to continue than have it reported. Yes, it would probably be difficult and end up being quite an awkward situation, but it would ultimately have a positive impact on the student.

Pro states that there needs to be stricter laws, but gives no proof for why. The only law that my opponent should agree with is a law banning all student/teacher contact through social media. If there are simply limitations, the resolution is not fulfilled.

Teachers could still be able to contact students through social media without having access to their personal lives. With this, my arguments still stand that this contact should remain in place, especially in a world so concentrated on technological advancement and a generation that revolves around non-personal contact.
Debate Round No. 3


Yes there could be separate pages that teachers and students can use, but I am talking about personal pages that are being used for this sort of thing.

Professional pages are monitored, whereas personal pages are not ( at least not that I know of). It would be harder to get away with things that are inappropriate when using a page that could be monitored.

I think that student/teachers social media relationship should be banned. They can talk in class and there is not reason to contact out of school, unless on a field trip or something of that nature.


I believe my opponent has conceded this debate. By stating that professional pages could be monitored and that students and teachers could use them, my opponent disagrees with the resolution. The first two paragraphs my opponent posted in Round 4 basically state that social media could be used for good. Personal pages was never brought up until this round, which, in my opinion, is not applicable to the debate (also, my Twitter argument stands; students could follow teachers without teachers following students).

My point on abuse (which was brought up by Pro) was dropped.

My point for Twitter, concerning personal pages not being a requirement for teachers to follow students was dropped.

My opponent provides no proof for personal pages not being monitored (seeing as on Twitter, personal pages can be viewed by everyone, unless they are private).

In conclusion, there are times where social media can be a benefit outside of the classroom. It provides an opportunity for students to ask for additional help and receive further classroom information. This can all be done, in fact, without the teachers having any access to the students' personal information and lives.

Thanks for reading and voting.
Debate Round No. 4
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