The following was included in TCTA's 2017-18 Survival Guide, the ultimate reference tool for Texas educators, and is current as of September 2017 but is subject to change. The information below is for information purposes only, and is not intended to substitute for advice from an attorney.

Standards of Conduct

Many school districts have employment policies that extend standards of conduct to use of electronic media and social networking sites, and the Code of Ethics imposes limitations on such communications. 

Educators are held to the same standards of conduct in their use of electronic media and social networking as for any other public communication. All communications with students or minors, whether electronic or face to face, should be professional and appropriate.

Many districts have even adopted policies specifying that teachers may communicate with their own children and their children’s friends using personal social networking sites, but may not do so with current or former students with whom there is no separate social relationship.

Also, some districts have policies that designate only specific individuals who may send text messages to students and place time limitations on when educators may communicate with students.

See also:

Educator Use of Social Media

Professional Boundaries With Students

Sexting Between Students

Tips for New Teachers