Social Media Policies

To the best of my knowledge my school and county do not have a social media policy in place. There have definitely been discussion regarding social media, but they seem to be focused on how appropriate use of social media by teachers, or bullying issues between students. It seems like as social media is becoming more and more prevalent a specific policy outlining the counties social media rules and guidelines is important to have. With that being said, since there is no county-wide policy in effect now, I am going to focus more on guidelines I would like to follow for my school or classroom rather than the county as a whole.

For any policy to be effective there must be buy-in from the stakeholders. It is necessary for my students, their parents, and the school administration to all have a part in developing and enforcing the policy. Ideally I think it would be best to have a meeting with parents, students, and administration to collectively create and agree upon the policy. Without support of parents and administration it would almost impossible to enforce any policy, no matter how good the intentions. It would also be important to regularly review and update the policy as social media is constantly changing and the policy needs to be relevant. Policies will be enforced in accordance with the faculty and student handbooks.

The following guidelines are my proposed Social Media Policy for my school:

  1. Faculty and staff using social media for school or classroom purposes need to maintain professional social media accounts separate from their personal ones.
  1. Official school or student club/organization accounts are permitted but must have the approval of the administration and any use of the account must be monitored and approved by the club/organization’s advisor. This includes sports teams, in which case the coach is considered the advisor.
  1. Faculty or staff are responsible for maintaining a professional appearance when using social media, this includes checking for spelling/grammar mistakes as well as appropriate content.
  1. All social media accounts should be identifiable to prevent anonymity and increase transparency.
  1. Any content determined to be inappropriate will be removed and disciplinary action may be taken in accordance with the faculty and student handbook.
  1. Any type of harassment/bullying will be investigated and handled in accordance with the faculty and student handbook.
  1. Any dishonest or unethical behavior will be investigated and handled in accordance with the faculty and student handbook.
  1. All users of social media need to be knowledgeable of privacy settings to protect personal information.
  1. All users of social media should be cognizant of protecting the security of social media accounts by creating strong passwords and routinely changing passwords.
  1. All users of social media must respect copyright laws when posting content, and proper attribution should be provided to give credit to the original author or creator.
  1. Careful thought and review should be given to any content posted online as once something is online it is almost impossible to remove it completely.

Resources

Anderson, S. (2012, May 7). How to create social media guidelines for your school. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/how-to-create-social-media-guidelines-school

Anderson, S. (2012). Social media guidelines. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/social-media-guidelines-steven-anderson

Hagerstown Community College. Social media at HCC. Retrieved from http://www.hagerstowncc.edu/about/public-information/social-media

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