Laws, Policies, Regulations

What are the Laws and Policies Regarding Social Networking in Schools?


Both Federal and state legislation has been proposed to curb the use of social networking in schools, which has incited controversy over the legality of such legislation. Critics believe that regulating online activity is a violation of first amendment rights.


If teachers are not careful with the use of social networkign sites they can fall into inappropriate relationships with students. They may also post information that they believe to be private. These are some of the reasons people are calling for regulation and potential removal of Social networking from schools.




The two main federal policies that educators should be aware of when engaging with social media in the classroom are the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

  • COPPA protects students under the age of 13 from having their own personal information used aor collected without the permission of a parent or guardian.
  • COPPA calls for stricter privacy measures on sites whose audience consists of children under 13 years of age and restricts marketing to those users. As a result COPPA is the primary reason why most social networking sites require users to be at least 13 years old.
  •  CIPA states that all schools must provide an internet filtering system to prevetn students from being able to access offensive and harmful content.
  • Social media tools also have their own extensive terms, conditions, and policies, and these can change significantly with or without warning.


Due to the discussion and conversation heavy nature of the social media world there also exists potential legal liabilities to consider regarding libel, slander, defamation, and any other issues accidental or purposeful breaching of IPR (Intellectual Property Rights).


Can Teachers be Fired for Content on Their Own Facebook?

The answer is YES, you can get fired for facebook content, the courts will uphold it! For more information click here.


Here is an example of a teacher who was fired for their profile pictures.

Facebook Fail


To Avoid legal issues regarding Facebook and to protect your job check out his "how to" guide for teachers using facebook.

Facebook For Teachers