The Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont Community School District expects its employees to model responsible and appropriate conduct, both at school and away from school. Employee use of social media, including social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; personal web pages or blogs; and electronic messaging, including texting, are subject to the requirements of applicable law, District policies, and sound professional and ethical behavior for District employees within the District community. Employees who fail to comply with this policy or who otherwise engage in inappropriate use of social media may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. If an employee has any questions about the application of this policy, the employee should consult the employee’s supervisor.
Professional Use of Social Media
An employee using social media in the employee’s professional capacity as an employee of the District and/or pursuant to the employee’s official duties should be truthful regarding their identity and thoughtful and respectful when engaging in the use of social media. Employees using social media in their professional capacity should adhere to the following guidelines:
- Employees may use professional web pages that are created through the District and used solely for school-related purposes. Notify parents of your intention to use social media to communicate with students and the intended purpose of such communications. All professional, legal, and ethical expectations for appropriate communications and relationships must be followed.
- If you are participating on a social networking website, web page, and/or blog for District-related business, you may do so only with the prior approval of your supervisor.
- Accurately identify yourself and your position with the District in all social media communications. Do not use an alias or engage in anonymous social media communications.
- Any District identifying information (i.e. Eddyville Blakesburg Fremont Community School District, www.rocketsk12.org, etc.) associated with you, your name, and/or your email creates the impression you are acting in your capacity as a District employee and/or acting on behalf of the District and, as such, you are expected to conduct yourself in a legal, ethical, and professional manner.
- Any information shared via social media regarding the business of the District, whether using personal or District technology may be considered a public record.
- All information communicated through or maintained on the District’s technology is subject to the District’s acceptable use policy and is subject to being monitored or inspected at any time.
- Do not submit or post confidential information about the District, its students, alumni or employees, including student photos without prior permission. You should assume that most information about a student is required to be kept confidential by both federal law and/or state law.
- Be aware that even if you intend for a communication on social media to be private, communications on social media are not truly private. To minimize unintended disclosure of information, you should set and maintain your social networking privacy settings at the most restrictive level.
- Internet search engines can find information years after it was originally posted. Comments can be forwarded or copied and archival systems can save information even if you delete a post or use a private message. You should assume that a message or image which is posted or communicated can never be completely deleted.
- Spell check and grammar check your content before you submit or post messages, and correct any mistakes as soon as you can. Remember that you are writing for publication, even if it is just for a social networking website. Refrain from making unsubstantiated statements and avoid careless comments, such as “research shows” unless you also provide full citations of the research.
- Only provide your official District e-mail address and/or telephone number as a way to communicate with students or parents regarding District business.
- Limit communications with individual students on social media to school related issues such as class lessons, grades, and missed assignments and copy parents and/or other appropriate staff members on all communications with students.
- Do not communicate with students using one to one text messages, private chats, direct messages, and/or other one to one communications.
Personal Use of Social Media
The District recognizes the use of social media for personal purposes and acknowledges that its employees have the right under the law to express themselves on matters of public concern. However, the District also has the right to regulate the speech of employees in certain circumstances, such as when the personal use of social media interferes with the employee’s ability to perform his/her duties or affects the District’s ability to efficiently provide educational services. Accordingly, it is essential that employees conduct themselves in such a way that their personal use of social media does not adversely affect their position with the District or the District. Employees using social media for such purposes should adhere to the following guidelines:
- If you are participating on a social networking website, web page, and/or blog for personal use, you may identify yourself as an employee of the District. However, if you do, you must state that you are expressing your own opinion, not that of the District, and you will be fully responsible for your actions.
- If you identify yourself as a District employee, your actions will reflect not only on you but on the District as well.
- Do not submit or post information concerning the District using an identity other than your own.
- Do not use the District’s school logos or mascots, photographs, any other such graphic representations or images or link any personal page on a social networking website or other personal web page to any District website or material.
- If you submit or post information or comments that are not related to the District, your activities may still result in professional consequences. Such actions include, but are not limited to, posting of photographs or information which violates federal or state law and regulations and/or District policies and rules.
- Be aware that you do not have control of what others may submit or post on social networking websites; therefore, be aware that your conduct in your private life may affect your professional life. Be vigilant about what others post about you or on your page and, if necessary, take steps to remove comments that are inappropriate and/or reflect poorly on you and/or the District.
- Carefully consider whether to interact with and/or whether to provide personal contact information to students currently enrolled in the District on social media.
- You should refrain from providing your personal contact information to students currently enrolled in the District.
- During the work day, you should refrain from participating on any personal social media, regardless of whether such participation is through District or personal technology.
- Employees are encouraged to post positive information about the District. Employees should exercise appropriate discretion concerning posting, agreeing or liking negative comments about the District, its employees, staff, and/or students.
REVIEWED: 11/18/2019 - APPROVED 12/03/2019
REVIEWED: 02/08/2021 – APPROVED 03/15/2021