Facebook is Bad News for Schools.

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If you are employed by a school you probably have some challenges.

The goofy kids.

Test scores.


More goofy kids.


Parents of goofy kids.

Goofy parents of goofy kids (although personally, I’ve never had any of these).

Since there have been schools, there have been administrators.  Which means there have been challenges for administrators at school.

It’s part of the job (Note to new principals:  not everyone is going to love you… sorry you had to hear it here first).

And the truth is, without problems, most of us would be without jobs.

This is why I consider the challenges at school to be job security (most days, I have a LOT of security).

But as I grow older (and I seem to every day), I’m starting to see changes for school administrators.

Yes, I’m turning into that person who pines for the good old days of 2006.

The biggest 3 changes I’ve seen since I started in this profession are:  mandated testing, finances, and decaying of good will towards teachers.

None of these are good.

The worst one is probably how our country feels about teachers (it’s sad really).

But even with these tough hills to climb, there is something I see as possibly an even bigger pain in the caboose (I think I just dated myself with my reference to train cars that no longer exist).

It’s Facebook.

I hate Facebook.

And I know less about Facebook than I do about trains. 

And I don’t really hate Facebook because we’ve never officially met.

I’m sure Facebook has good qualities.  Just like the goofy kids (they do grow out of it… eventually).

The challenge I see for school administrators isn’t with students and Facebook.  It’s with rumors and Facebook.

People like excitement.

People like rumors.

And people really like exciting rumors.

Facebook makes it easy.

When I first started working in schools, if people didn’t like you or a decision you made they had to express themselves in person.

In your office.

Or on the phone.

Maybe an angry letter in the newspaper (again… the good old days).

Now they can do it on the interweb using Facebook.

And the worst part, it doesn’t have to be true. 

People can say anything.  Or worse, they can type anything.

The more exciting and untrue, the more interesting  for others.

This isn’t good.  Especially when people are typing at 2:30 in the morning (never good…never ever good).

In fact, it’s bad for school administrators.

It makes a difficult job almost impossible.

Maybe I will see the day where people type nice things on Facebook in the middle of the night.

But I’m not holding my breath.

Because the goofy kids of today will probably be the Facebookers of tomorrow.

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6 Responses to “Facebook is Bad News for Schools.”

  1. Jared Nichol
    on Sep 25th, 2011
    @ 11:25 am

    While I do understand that principals are under enormous pressures from many different angles it seems to me that your frustrations about Facebook are from primarily negative experiences.

    Students who use Facebook to bully and harass others should be dealt with strongly and that is covered in your discipline policy somewhere at the school or district level. Or even the police if needed.

    No doubt students and parents misuse Facebook in ways to slam teachers and schools on a regular basis. Is this any different than the coffee crowd getting together to complain? The coffee crowd is now on Facebook. Let’s meet them online instead of hearing the gossip at PTA meetings and in the stands at basketball games.

    If you were my principal I’d want you to embrace Facebook as means of positively promoting the school with our own school page, and working with teachers to reach students with their own class pages.

    Fscebook is where students and parents are. If you model appropriate use of it from the school it sends a message to all in your community. Get parents to post comments on the wall about he awesome things they think about your school.

    It seems a shame to dismiss Facebook like this.

  2. Shannon
    on Sep 25th, 2011
    @ 6:20 pm

    His school does have a Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Tuscola-CUSD-301/139994942739550

    And he models appropriate use.

    Just sayin’.

  3. Douglas W. Green, EdD
    on Sep 26th, 2011
    @ 5:28 am

    People only bring problems to the principal that they can’t solve. They take care of the easy ones themselves. It is important to understand this whether you are a principal or someone who wants the job someday.

  4. Alfred Thompson
    on Sep 26th, 2011
    @ 5:59 am

    I’m going to set my alarm to get me up at the middle of the night just so I can log in to Facebook and say something nice about you. Or maybe not because at my advanced age I a) need my sleep b) tend to get up in the middle of the night anyway. :-)
    BTW there a rumor going around that a girl in one of your schools, known as the Evil Spawn, has a goofy parent. But I didn’t read it on Facebook so it may not be true.

  5. Andrew
    on Oct 19th, 2011
    @ 3:13 am

    Yes, cyber bullying through the use of social networks such as Facebook is a ginormous issue in schools all over the world and it’s not going away anytime soon. Sure we miss the way bullying use to be civil and settled fisticuffs, but this is not the way it is today. Facebook isn’t to blame and neither are your “goofy” students. Maybe the problem stems from an inadequate Acceptable Use Policy or one that hasn’t been implemented appropriately. All students, parent, teachers and administrator should have a clear understanding of Internet protocol and the consequences for not following it.

  6. Henry
    on Nov 14th, 2012
    @ 12:19 am

    Excellent post.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.