School social media policy may be developed after teacher arrest

School system social media policy may be developed after teacher arrest

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"I have all their passwords. They have to friend me. If they defriend me, they have to get off the site so during the day I check all their accounts and everything," said mom Nickie Colligan. "I have all their passwords. They have to friend me. If they defriend me, they have to get off the site so during the day I check all their accounts and everything," said mom Nickie Colligan.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

GREENBACK (WATE) - More information has come out about the charges against a Greenback school teacher. Angela Masingo remained in jail Monday after being arrested on child sex charges.

The arrest warrant states Masingo, using Facebook, invited a juvenile to engage in sexual activity. Deputies say she also used a cell phone to show a teen sexually explicit material.

Officials say she's taught with the school system since 1995 and doesn't have a history of misconduct with students.

6 News took a look at the social media policy for six school systems in East Tennessee. The majority did not have a specific social media code of conduct guideline in place, but a couple school systems were looking into implementing a new detailed social media policy.

Loudon County is considering new guidelines after this recent teacher arrest.

Nickie Colligan is a mother of a nine, ten and twelve year old. Her sixth and fourth grader use social media sites with supervision.

"I have all their passwords. They have to friend me. If they defriend me, they have to get off the site so during the day I check all their accounts and everything," said Colligan.

She would allow a teacher to be Facebook friends with her child, but she would check the content and make sure it's related to school work only.

Since the arrest of the Greenback teacher, Loudon County Director of Schools Jason Vance is considering changing their electronic media policy.

"We do not have policies that prohibit teachers from that sort of thing, however, we always speak to teachers about being professional," said Vance.

He is considering adding a specific social media policy.

Blount County school officials say they will have a social media policy by the end of summer.

Anderson County schools will have a policy by May. The director says one idea is to copy the principal on all social media communication between a teacher and a student.

In Monroe County, there is no a specific social media policy.

In Roane County, the staff is encouraged to use social media when appropriate but teachers should not be friending students

In Knox County, rules state that staff members shall avoid excessive informal and social involvement with individual students. Romantic and sexual communication is prohibited.

Colligan says despite a school system's policy, it's also up to parents to keep track of what their kids are doing on these sites.

"They had to ask me before I let them. My daughter would come to me and ask if this was okay to post and I'd say yes or no and that's how I would control that," said Colligan.

Law enforcement officials say due to the number of children using the social media sites it becomes a place where predators can solicit children. Parents need to be proactive in monitoring their children's internet use.

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