These are sensible guidelines, and it's good that the school system is formalizing them so there is no question about where the line must be drawn. The policy is expected to come up for a vote by the School Committee next week, and committee head Joseph Bevilacqua expects unanimous approval.
Teachers union head Marc Harvey said he believes teachers are already following the guidelines.
A separate policy on students' use of social networking in the schools is in the works.
We've come a long way from the days when teachers who wanted to communicate with parents sent notes home with students. The Internet provides powerful new ways for educators to communicate, but it's well to be aware of the pitfalls.