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TEACHERS GIVEN A FACEBOOK LESSON.

TEACHERS were warned yesterday that using social networking sites can expose them to humiliation and ridicule by pupils.

The National Union of Teachers has issued new guidance and said simple actions such as posting holiday snaps on Facebook could come back to haunt them.

Members were urged not to befriend pupils and their parents as it can blur the line between their personal and professional lives.

A fringe meeting at the NUT conference was also told governors often trawl the internet to find personal details about staff. It heard that a group of newly-qualified teachers who were struggling to find work were urged to rethink their profiles. One of the women was pictured with a pint glass on her head. She removed the photo and got a job shortly after.

Online safety adviser Karl Hopwood warned that teachers have been disciplined for their web activity.

In one case, Belinda Langley-Bliss, who was acting head of Wilmington Enterprise College in Kent, was suspended after boasting about her breasts on Facebook. She wrote: "They are fabulous aren't they... now bigger and solid." Mr Hopwood added that photos on such sites can also appear on different search engines.

Amanda Brown, from the NUT, said: "We urge teachers to be careful as anything which blurs the line between personal and professional life can come back to haunt them."

She said family and friends could post pictures in good faith - like of a head teacher as a teenager - which could later cause embarrassment.

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 25, 2011
Words:252
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