Bill Would Require Schools to Develop Polices to Monitor Electronic Communications Between Staff and Students
(TRENTON) – A bill sponsored by Assemblywomen Marlene Caride, Gabriela Mosquera and Angelica Jimenez to help prevent improper electronic communications between students and school staff was approved by the General Assembly on Thursday, giving it final legislative approval.
“Social networks, text-messaging and e-mail have drastically changed the way people communicate today,” said Caride (D-Bergen/Passaic). “Advancing technology and the use of electronic communications raise concerns of appropriateness and beg us to define conduct in a professional atmosphere, especially in our schools.”
The bill (A-1429) would require every public school district to adopt a written policy concerning electronic communications between school employees and students enrolled in the district.
“This bill will help ensure that schools set guidelines for proper communications between faculty and students,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester). “These policies will help create a standard for professionalism in electronic communications that will benefit everyone in the long-run.”
“Social media is designed to bring people closer together but it can also blur the line when it comes to the professional standards that must be maintained between school staff and students,” said Jimenez (D-Bergen/Hudson). “By making sure these policies are clear cut, hopefully we can ward off any mistakes, either innocent or ill-intended.”
The policy must include provisions designed to prevent improper communications between school employees and students made via e-mail, cellular phones, social networking websites and other Internet-based social media.
The bill now goes to the governor.