The Hidden Dangers Of Electronic Communications
The issue of electronic communication, cyberbullying, defamatory websites, and social networking sites have been the topic of numerous ETFO publications over the past few years. In an effort to be proactive and prevent possible difficulties, we have advised members to be extremely cautious when communicating electronically with students as well as parents.
In PRS Matters #48, entitled, ‘Electronic Communications’, the issue of electronic abuse was explored in detail. Members were provided with strategies to deal with inappropriate student electronic communications.
In PRS Matters #43, entitled, ‘Changes to the Safe Schools Act Bill 212: What You Need to Know’, we outlined the changes to the Act, especially the inclusion of cyberbullying on the list of infractions that may lead to suspensions.
In PRS Matters #46, entitled, ‘Defamatory Websites and Social Networking Pages’, we outlined the difficulties associated with having defamatory messages removed from websites such as ratemyteacher.com.
In addition, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation has developed a handy pamphlet entitled, ‘Cybertype for Teachers’ and presented a brief to the Department of Justice Canada on the topic, “Addressing Cyberconduct.” The brief calls for the government to recognize the extreme impact of the misuse of technology by supporting amendments to the Criminal Code of Canada that make it clear that the use of information and communication technology to convey a message that threatens death or bodily harm, or perpetuates fear and intimidation in another constitutes a punishable offence under the Criminal Code.
At the ETFO Leadership Training Event in September 2008, ETFO legal counsel, Patrick Groom, presented on the topic, “The Hidden Dangers of Electronic Communication.” In his address, he commented on the issue of cyberbullying, the victims of cyberbullying, and the dangers of teachers engaging in electronic communication. He provided very valuable “tips” that all teachers should know.
Communicating with students
Communicating with parents
For Internet Explorer, click on “Tools > Internet Options” and click the following buttons:
For Mozilla Fire Fox, click on “Tools > Options” and then click on the following tabs:
If you do send messages
Members are advised to consult Professional Relations staff (PRS) in Protective Services at 416-962-3836 or 1-888-838-3836 for additional advice.