Employee Use of Social Media
The District recognizes the prevalence of social media used for educational and personal purposes and acknowledges that its employees have the right to speak out on matters of public concern as a private citizen. However, the District has the right to regulate the speech of employees in certain circumstances. Accordingly, it is essential that employees conduct themselves in such a way that their educational and personal use of social media does not adversely affect their position with the District.
The purpose of the regulation is to establish protocols for the use of social media by employees and to outline expectations for its use regardless of whether access to any social media is through a District-owned computer. Social media includes, but is not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media and web 2.0 tools.
Employees found to have used social media inappropriately may be subject to disciplinary action by the District, up to, and including, termination.
Employee expectations for all use of social media (educational and personal)
- Use of social media should reflect the same standards of honesty, respect, and consideration they are expected to adhere to in all forms of communications and interactions.
- Consider how and/or whether a particular posting puts your professional reputation and effectiveness as an employee at risk.
- Note that District attendance center, class, program, and personal accounts are followed by the public and the media, especially at the principal and administrator levels. District, attendance center, class, program, and personal posts have the potential of generating inquiries from the public and the media. When posting, consider that you may be required to respond to questions from the public and/or the media and may end up becoming a part of a media story as a result of your use of social media.
- Do not post or comment on confidential or protected information about the District, its students, alumni, or employees. Disclosure of confidential or protected information may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, termination.
- Report, as required by law, any information found on a social networking site or post that falls under the mandatory reporting guidelines.
- Do not post or use language that could be considered to be derogatory, threatening, bullying, discriminatory, harassment, defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libelous or that constitutes an incitement to violence.
- Be aware of possible security risks when using third-party applications within a social media site and take appropriate precautions.
- Make sure any personal computers and/or devices have all appropriate updates installed (i.e. operating system, anti-virus, malware, spyware, adware).
- Be aware of possible security risks in using social media such as of phishing.
Employee expectations for the educational use of social media (in addition to expectations set out above)
- Comply with all District policies, regulations, and laws and regulations applicable to the use of District-owned hardware, software and networks.
- Notify your supervisor and the Community Relations Office if you wish to establish a social media account for an attendance center, class, or program.
- If you receive approval to establish a social media account for an attendance center, class, or program, create an organization page for the attendance center, class, or program. Do not use a personal account for District-related purposes.
- Seek approval from the Community Relations Office before using the District logo or any other District branding information.
- Do not post anything on a District affiliated social media account that advocates for or against a political candidate or ballot initiative.
- Do not post or otherwise publish images that include students without parental release forms on file.
- Pay close attention to the accounts and site’s security settings and allow only approved participants access to the account and/or site.
Employee expectations for personal use of social media (in addition to expectations set out above)
- Refrain from accepting current District students as friends, followers, or contacts on personal social media sites.
- Be aware that people classified as friends, followers, or contact have the ability to view, download, and share your information with others.
- Remember that once something is posted to a social media site it may remain available online even if you think it has been removed or deleted.
- Be aware that posts and comments shared directly with an individual or privately can be captured, saved, copied, and sent to other individuals.
- Set and maintain appropriate social media privacy settings. Be aware that social media sites can change their privacy policies and standards at any time, possibly exposing posts that were private to the public.
- Sharing school or District social media posts to your personal social media page (i.e. retweeting a @crschools announcement to your personal Twitter page) is acceptable and encouraged if it is something of interest to you.
- Approved: 09-12-11
- Revised: 01-25-16, 06-14-2021
- Documents: 506.12
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