Council Rock School District set standards for good judgment when using social media.
The district released guidelines in March 2012 outlining expectations for Council Rock staff and students alike. The document is divided into three sections, all users (staff and students), just staff, and just students.
Social media is defined by the district as:
“…any form of electronic communication – single, group, or mass network - which allows interaction among users. As used in these guidelines, Social Media also includes other online tools and text or other non-verbal communication using cell phones or other electronic devices.”
Here are some highlights from the report:
- When using school computers, remember your posts are subject to monitoring by the district.
- Social media use during school hours should be relevant to the district curriculum.
- The district urges students and staff not to post any personal information such as telephone numbers and addresses.
- District-run social media accounts are monitored and the district “reserves the right to edit or remove” posts.
- Free expression is acknowledged and respected, however the district notes that any form of expression which “disrupts the school setting” or otherwise “represents the district in a way that is judged to be inappropriate” may be disciplined.
- When students post about school assignments, the district wrote that the posts should “comply with the school district’s Student Code of Conduct and Discipline Policies.”
- Disruption of the school setting, cyberbullying and other student code violations via social media postings will result in discipline.
The most important thing stressed was safety. The district urges students and staff to be mindful of outside websites they choose to use and link to, any personal information posted and copyright laws.
The district listed recommendations for social media outlets and proper communication between staff members and students and or parents.
The Council Rock email system is deemed the safest and most appropriate form of communication between staff and students or parents. School and teacher websites are highly encouraged. The eSchool Plus Parent Portal is an important communication tool used by the district to show “student progress and curriculum expectations”.
Listed as “less recommended” are the use of text messaging and Twitter “and or similar sites.” The district deemed use of Facebook unacceptable and is strongly discouraged as a form of communication from staff to parents or students.