FILE:  EFAA

Cf:  EFA, GAMIA

Cf:  GBRA, IFBGA

 

EMPLOYEE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

 

 

The Plaquemines Parish School Board recognizes the importance of incorporating current technology tools, including new methods of electronic communication, into the classroom to enhance student learning.  It further recognizes the importance of employees, students and parents engaging, learning, collaborating and sharing in digital environments as part of 21st Century learning.  The Plaquemines Parish School Board strives to ensure that electronic communication tools incorporated into the school curriculum are used responsibly and safely.  As practicable, the Plaquemines Parish School Board shall provide access to secure social media tools and Plaquemines Parish School Board approved technologies for use during instructional time and for school-sponsored activities in accordance with policies EFA, Employee Technology Acceptable Use and IFBGA, Student Technology Acceptable Use.

 

The Plaquemines Parish School Board acknowledges that employees may engage in the use of social media during their personal time.  Employees who use social media for personal purposes must be mindful that they are responsible for their public conduct even when not acting in their capacities as school system employees.  All employees, including student teachers and independent contractors shall comply with the requirements of this policy when using electronic social media for personal purposes.

 

For the purposes of this policy, social media includes, but is not limited to, personal websites, web logs (blogs), wikis, social network sites, online forums, virtual worlds, video-sharing websites and any other social media generally available to the public or consumers that does not fall within the Plaquemines Parish School Board’s technologies network (e.g., Web 2.0 tools, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube).

 

SOCIAL MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS INVOLVING STUDENTS

 

Employees shall maintain a professional relationships with students at all times in accordance with policies GAMIA, Electronic Communications Between Employees and Students, and GBRA, Employee Conduct.  All electronic communications with students who are currently enrolled in the school system must be school-related and within the scope of the employees’ professional responsibilities, unless otherwise authorized by this policy.  School personnel using School Board-controlled technological resources and social media tools to communicate directly with students or to comment on student matters through use of the Internet shall abide by all policies governing such activities.  An employee seeking to utilize and/or establish a non-school-controlled social media website for instructional or other school-related purposes shall obtain prior written approval from the Superintendent or his/her designee and principal and meet any applicable requirements of policies EFA, Employee Technology Acceptable Use and IFBGA, Student Technology Acceptable Use.

 

The use of electronic media for communicating with students and parents is considered an extension of the employee’s workplace responsibilities.  Accordingly, the Plaquemines Parish School Board shall expect employees to use professional judgment when using social media or other electronic communications.

 

Employees shall be prohibited from knowingly communicating with current students through a personal social network page.  Any electronic communication made by an employee to any student enrolled in a public school in this school district or that is received by an employee from any student enrolled in a public school in this school district using a means other than one provided by or made available by the school system shall be reported by the employee in a manner deemed appropriate by the School Board.  Records of any such reported communication shall be maintained by the School Board for a period of at least one (1) year.

 

EMPLOYEE PERSONAL USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

 

The Plaquemines Parish School Board respects the right of employees to use social media as a medium of self-expression on their personal time.  As role models for the school system’s students, however, employees shall be responsible for their public conduct even when they are not performing their job duties as employees of the School Board.  Employees shall be held to the same professional standards in their public use of social media and other electronic communications as they are for any other public conduct.  Furthermore, employees remain subject to applicable state and federal laws, Plaquemines Parish School Board policies, and administrative regulations and procedures, even if communicating with others concerning personal and private matters.  If an employee’s use of social media interferes with the employee’s ability to effectively perform his or her job duties, the employee shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

 

Employees shall be responsible for the content on their social media sites, including content added by the employee, the employee’s friends or members of the public who can access the employee’s site, and for Web links on the employee’s site.  Employees shall take reasonable precautions, such as using available security settings, to restrict students from viewing their personal information on social media websites and to prevent students from accessing materials that are not age-appropriate.

 

Employees shall be prohibited from accessing social networking websites for personal use during instructional time or with School Board technological resources.

 

POSTING TO SOCIAL MEDIA SITES

 

Employees who use social media for personal purposes shall be aware that the content they post may be viewed by anyone, including students, parents and community members.  Employees shall observe the following principles when communicating through social media:

 

  1. Employees shall not post confidential information about students, employees or school system business.

  2. Employees shall not accept current students as “friends” or “followers” or otherwise connect with students on social media sites, unless the employee and student have a family relationship or other type of appropriate relationship which originated outside of the school setting.

  3. Employees shall not knowingly allow students access to their personal social media sites that discuss or portray sex, nudity, alcohol or drug use or other behaviors associated with the employees’ private lives that would be inappropriate to discuss with a student at school.

  4. Employees may not knowingly grant students access to any portions of their personal social media sites that are not accessible to the general public, unless the employee and student have a family relationship or other type of appropriate relationship which originated outside of the school setting.

  5. Employees shall be professional in all Internet postings related to or referencing the school system, students and other employees.

  6. Employees shall not use profane, pornographic, obscene, indecent, lewd, vulgar or sexually offensive language, pictures or graphics or other communication that could reasonably be anticipated to cause a substantial disruption to the school environment.

  7. Employees shall not use the school system’s logo or other copyrighted material of the system without express, written consent from the Plaquemines Parish School Board

  8. Employees shall not post identifiable images of a student or student’s family without permission from the student and the student’s parent or legal guardian.

  9. Employees shall not use Internet postings to libel or defame the Plaquemines Parish School Board, individual Plaquemines Parish School Board members, students or other school employees.

  10. Employees shall not use Internet postings to harass, bully or intimidate other employees or students in violation of policy JCDAF, Bullying, Hazing, and Terrorizing, or state and federal laws.

  11. Employees shall not post inappropriate content that negatively impacts their ability to perform their jobs.

  12. Employees shall not use Internet postings to engage in any other conduct that violates Plaquemines Parish School Board policy and administrative procedures or state and federal laws.

 

CONSEQUENCES

 

School Board personnel shall monitor online activities of employees who access the Internet using school technological resources.  Additionally, the Superintendent or designee may periodically conduct public Internet searches to determine if an employee has engaged in conduct that violates this policy.  Any employee who has been found by the Superintendent to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

 

The Superintendent shall establish and communicate to employees guidelines that are consistent with this policy.

 

New policy:  February 9, 2015

 

 

Ref:    US Constitution, Amend. I

17 USC 101 et seq. (Copyrights)

18 USC 2510-2522 (Electronic Communications Privacy Act)

20 USC 1232 g (Family Educational and Privacy Rights)

20 USC 7131 (Internet Safety)

47 USC 254 (Children’s Internet Protection Act)

Board minutes, 2-9-15

 

Plaquemines Parish School Board