POSTED: Friday, September 2, 2011 - 1:12pm
UPDATED: Monday, September 19, 2011 - 11:58pm
NBC National News — Social networking like, Facebook, Twitter and Myspace are not only changing how we communicate, but also who we communicate with. That can include students and their school staff.
That possible online relationship is what prompted Ohio's Dayton Public Schools to institute a new policy this school year.
"Our students live in a digital age, they live in a world of social media and I think in many cases our students are so far ahead of us in their use of social media that we really need to be forward thinking and set parameters," said Jill Moberley, Public Information Officer for the school district.
Starting this school year, D.P.S teachers and staff are prohibited from communicating with students online or over text. They can't "friend", "follow" or chat.
The new policy has already gotten a passing grade from grandparents and parents at Valerie PRE-K through 8.
"Children and teachers have to be protected, and when you set parameters then the protection is there, so there is no room for misunderstanding," said Dr. Diane Parks-Love, who has a grandchild in 3rd grade at the school.
Dayton Public School officials said they haven't investigated any incidents where teachers have abused social networking, or texting, but many other Dayton area school districts have.
In July former Troy High School soccer coach Ryan Baker was found guilty of harassing a 16 year-old girl.
He sent the teen over 14,000 text messages.
That is exactly the kind of situation that Moberley said the district wants to stop before it starts.
"It is jumping out ahead, we have to be forward thinking," she said. "We may be revisiting the policy down the road because this is a ever-developing field. Social media is just growing exponentially and we need to at least attempt to keep up with it through policy and that is a huge task".