SPPS recognizes that social media can be a powerful tool for enhancing learning and communication. Using social media also comes with potential pitfalls. With an understanding of district policy, guidelines, and common sense, district employees will be better equipped to post, tweet, and otherwise use social media vehicles appropriately.
Listed below is a summary of the policy.
Definitions and General Statement of Policy
Social media includes, but is not limited to, online media such as: websites, web logs (blogs) wikis, online forums, podcasts and social networks. Work time includes any time for which an employee is being compensated by the District.
District employees are advised to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and ethics when engaging with social media. They should not use inappropriate language or behavior when referring to the District, schools, students, colleagues, or the SPPS community. And they must maintain appropriate boundaries when interacting on sites that represent students or other SPPS communities.
Work-Related Use of Social Media
The Superintendent or designee can authorize the establishment of public online social media accounts on behalf of the District, schools, departments, and programs, as well as public online social media accounts by teachers for educational purposes. Only social media accounts approved by the Superintendent or Superintendent’s designee may use the District or school names, mascots, and other images.
Personal Use of Social Media
Employees may not use social media for personal use during work time. It is an employee’s decision whether or not to use social media outside of work. The District may take action when it becomes aware of conduct or communication on social media that adversely affects the workplace.
The District does not monitor employee use of social media, but it can do so at any time and without prior consent. Violating provisions of the policy may lead to consequences including termination.
In accordance with the policy adopted by the SPPS Board of Education, employees should understand that:
- Employees will be held responsible for things communicated by them on social media.
- When engaging with social media, employees are advised to to be respectful and maintain the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct.
- The district may take action when professional or personal use of social media impedes an employee’s ability to do their job.
- Employees are advised to review the policy and guidelines in their entirety for more information.
Social Media Guidelines
The guidelines that will accompany the policy are under development. When completed, they will be published in the Board Policy and Procedure manual, and also shared in a Bridge newsletter. Until then, it is advised that you keep in mind the following:
- Be respectful of others, when discussing any part of SPPS.
- Be responsible with information, keeping in mind the law and the rights of others when posting.
- Be mindful, by always thinking before you post. What you post will be available for other to view for a long time to come.
- Be open and upfront; speak for yourself and be honest.
- Be aware of potential consequences.