Don't call or contact students on social media: UP govt to teachers

 The Uttar Pradesh government has issued a circular asking teachers and school staff not to interact with pupils on social media, phone or through e-mails, a move which it said is intended to check "sexual harassment" of students.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 18, 2015, 17:22 PM IST

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh government has issued a circular asking teachers and school staff not to interact with pupils on social media, phone or through e-mails, a move which it said is intended to check "sexual harassment" of students.

"The circular has been issued to check incidents of sexual harassment of students by teachers and staff. We have asked them not to interact with students on social media, phone or through e-mails," Principal Secretary (Secondary Education) Jitendra Kumar said today.

Another salient point in the circular was appointment of a girl student from class 3 onwards as "Power Angel" giving her responsibility to remain in touch with other girls and report any untoward incident to the principal.

He, however, clarified that the move is just to ensure that teachers do not use social media platforms for other than educational purposes.

The eight-page circular is based on Supreme Court guidelines and will be applicable to all educational institutions, including public and private, governed by all boards such as CBSE, ICSE and state Secondary Education Board.

Justifying the move, Kumar cited the example of rape of a girl in a Banglore school saying the girl first came in contact with the rapist through Facebook and later he misused the platform and blackmailed and raped the girl.

"The impact of social media is so vast and it cannot be overlooked," he said.

As per the circular, no teacher or employee should call or send any e-mail to any student without taking prior permission from the school.

The government warned that recognition of schools not implementing the circular will be withdrawn. For schools under CBSE or ISCE, the respective boards would be asked to take similar action, he said.

Concerned over the misuse of social media, the circular has suggested holding special classes and interactive sessions once a month to make students aware of the evils associated with it.

Besides, it directed school administration to ensure that cell phones are not used inside class rooms by any teacher or student.

The circular also carried instructions like ensuring secured school premises by installation of CCTV cameras, safe travel of students from home to school, balanced behaviour of teachers and other educational staff, and awareness and co-ordination between students.