Conway Public School District Social Media Guidelines
CPSD Employees should treat social media space and communication like a classroom and/or a professional workplace. The same standards expected in CPSD professional settings are expected on social media sites. If a particular type of behavior is inappropriate in the classroom or a professional workplace, then that behavior is also inappropriate on a social media site. CPSD employees should exercise caution, sound judgment, and common sense when using social media sites.
CPSD employees should not “friend” or “follow” students. Employees’ social media sites should be set as “private” for the protection of the employee. Student photographs and other private information is protected by law and should never be shared on an employee’s private social media space. Doing so is a violation of FERPA and a serious offense.
CPSD employees should remain vigilant about the content displayed on their social media space, and are encouraged to think about what they post and the impact it will have on the people who are reading it. Sharing opinions about issues that could be construed as inflammatory, malicious, obscene, threatening, or intimidating, that disparage students, employees, parents, or community members, or that could be viewed as harassment or bullying will not be tolerated.
CPSD employees should be aware that social media comments and messages on their personal pages may be used by the media as quotes and taken as such without explicit permission; therefore, they should refrain from commenting on district issues online. Doing so could lead others to believe that an individual district employee is speaking on behalf of the district. The Superintendent is the only district employee who can authorize an employee to speak on behalf of the district.
Professional Social Media Pages
CPSD Employees should obtain approval from their supervisor and their supervisor will notify the Communication Specialist before setting up a professional social media presence. If a professional social media site undergoes a significant change (for example, a Facebook page being used for one purpose expands to include another group, or changes focus entirely...), consider whether a revised notification is needed. As needed, schools can continue to inform families about newly created social media sites. Supervisors and their designees (push people) are responsible for maintaining a list of all professional social media accounts within their particular school. Professional CPSD social media sites should include language identifying the sites as professional social media sites to differentiate from personal sites. For example, the professional sites can identify the CPSD school, department, or particular grade that is utilizing the site. Employees should make certain to keep the professional account separate from any personal social media accounts they may manage.
CPSD Employees should use privacy settings to control access to their professional social media sites with the objective that professional social media communications only reach the intended audience. However, CPSD employees should be aware that there are limitations to privacy settings. Private communication published on the Internet can easily become public. Furthermore, social media sites can change their current default privacy settings and other functions without warning. As a result, each employee has a responsibility to understand the rules of the social media site being utilized
Social media communication must be in compliance with existing school district regulations, policies and applicable laws, including, but not limited to, prohibitions on the disclosure of confidential information and prohibitions on the use of harassing, obscene, discriminatory, defamatory or threatening language. No personally identifiable student information or photos may be posted on professional social media sites unless there is a signed photo release at the school for each child featured. Elementary schools will only identify students by first name. Middle School by first name and last initial. Secondary schools may use first and last name. Public events held at night (such as sports) are an exception to this.
CPSD students are not permitted to post photographs or videos featuring other students without the approval of the teacher or other CPSD employee responsible for the site. It is not recommended that CPSD employees post photos of other CPSD employees on professional social media sites without prior permission of the photographed employee.
CPSD supervisors, or their designees (push people), are responsible for monitoring and providing feedback regarding their employees’ professional social media sites. The monitoring responsibilities include reviewing the professional social media sites on a regular basis. If supervisors discover questionable communications or behavior on professional social media sites, they are required to contact the appropriate authorities (Communication Specialist, Director of Administrative Services) for assistance.
CPSD supervisors (i.e., Principal/designee (push person), Communication Specialist, Software Analyst, Technology Coordinator, Superintendent) reserve the right to remove postings and/or disable a page, of professional social media sites that do not adhere to the law or District’s Regulations or do not reasonably align with these Guidelines. To assist in monitoring, as a recommended practice to the extent possible, the CPSD employee should examine the default settings for comments on professional social media sites and in general use more restrictive custom settings. The employee creating the site should intentionally move to more public settings as dictated by need. If the default setting for comments is turned on, allowing any user to post a comment without review, the comments on the site should be monitored regularly. Employees using professional social media have no expectation of privacy with regard to their use of such media. CPSD supervisors, or their designees, will regularly monitor professional social media sites to protect the school community.
CPSD supervisors should maintain detailed documentation of all reported non-compliant communications as well as any violations that are otherwise brought to the supervisor’s attention. Such reports of non-compliant communications should be immediately shared with the CPSD employee so that the employee may take corrective action, if necessary and if possible.
Any press inquiries received via professional social media sites should be referred directly to the Communication Specialist.