So­cial me­dia use pol­icy for school em­ploy­ees pro­posed

Record Observer - - School -

CENTREVILLE — Queen Anne’s County Board of Ed­u­ca­tion is seek­ing feed­back for pol­icy changes. The pro­posed Em­ployee Use of So­cial Me­dia pol­icy was first pre­sented at the March 1 meet­ing.

The pol­icy seeks to de­fine the lim­i­ta­tions and use of so­cial me­dia for school em­ploy­ees. The pol­icy is as out­lined be­low:

Em­ploy­ees in­ter­ested in de­vel­op­ing an QACPS-re­lated pro­fes­sional so­cial me­dia pres­ence, whether ac­cessed from an QACPS com­puter, tablet, mo­bile de­vice, or not, must re­ceive per­mis­sion from their ad­min­is­tra­tors or su­per­vi­sors in de­vel­op­ing the site and are re­quired to pro­vide their su­per­vi­sor with ad­min­is­tra­tive rights to ac­cess the pro­fes­sional so­cial me­dia site, which may be reg­u­larly mon­i­tored by su­per­vi­sors and ad­min­is­tra­tors to en­sure com­pli­ance with the Ac­cept­able use of Elec­tronic Net­works Pol­icy and oth­ers ref­er­enced in para­graph G and all other ap­pli­ca­ble laws, poli­cies and pro­ce­dures.

Pro­fes­sional So­cial Me­dia sites de­vel­oped by school-based em­ploy­ees for schools shall of­fer par­ent(s)/guardian(s) and stu­dents gen­eral ac­cess to the site and the school shall pro­vide an­nual no­ti­fi­ca­tions to par­ent(s)/ guardian(s) and stu­dents about the site’s ex­is­tence along with the kinds of ma­te­ri­als that may be ac­cessed via the site.

Em­ploy­ees are pro­hib­ited from us­ing Pro­fes­sional So­cial Me­dia sites in any man­ner to de­mean, con­demn or be­rate oth­ers, in­clud­ing other em­ploy­ees and stu­dents, incite vi­o­lence of any kind, to em­bar­rass, de­fame, sex­u­ally ha­rass, ha­rass, or bully oth­ers, in­clud­ing other em­ploy­ees and stu­dents (as “ha­rass” and “bully” are de­fined by Poli­cies and Pro­ce­dures) or to in any man­ner that vi­o­lates QACPS Board pol­icy or pro­ce­dure, whether in­side or out­side the pro­fes­sional work en­vi­ron­ment. Em­ploy­ees us­ing Pro­fes­sional So­cial Me­dia sites are re­quired to main­tain the pri­vacy of per­sonal stu­dent records con­sis­tent with Board Poli­cies and Pro­ce­dures re­gard­ing Stu­dent Records, and con­fi­den­tial em­ployee in­for­ma­tion. Em­ploy­ees who use so­cial me­dia to com­mu­ni­cate with stu­dents shall only com­mu­ni­cate with stu­dents whose par­ent(s)/ guardian(s) have given writ­ten au­tho­riza­tion of and have ac­cess to their child’s use of the so­cial me­dia sites.

Em­ploy­ees shall not use their pro­fes­sional so­cial me­dia pres­ence to com­mu­ni­cate im­proper or in­ap­pro­pri­ate mes­sages with or about QACPS stu­dents. Em­ploy­ees, schools, and of­fices within QACPS who cre­ate a Pro­fes­sional So­cial Me­dia site are re­quired to mon­i­tor the site for com­pli­ance with Poli­cies and Pro­ce­dures.

The pol­icy also states, “QACPS rec­og­nizes that em­ploy­ees may also have a per­sonal pres­ence on so­cial me­dia sites and en­cour­ages em­ploy­ees who have such pres­ence to con­tinue to ad­here to Board poli­cies and pro­ce­dures in their per­sonal use of sites.”

The pol­icy would pro­hibit em­ploy­ees from us­ing so­cial me­dia for per­sonal use dur­ing work hours and from us­ing their so­cial me­dia pres­ence to com­mu­ni­cate im­proper or in­ap­pro­pri­ate mes­sages or con­tent with or about QACPS stu­dents. The pol­icy would also re­strict em­ploy­ees from post­ing any pho­tos of any QACPS stu­dent to any per­sonal so­cial me­dia site for any rea­son. Ex­cep­tions would be per­mit­ted where the stu­dent is a rel­a­tive by blood, adop­tion, or mar­riage of the em­ployee, or the em­ployee has re­ceived per­mis­sion to post from the par­ents or guardians of the stu­dent, and pro­vided the pho­tos are not im­proper or in­ap­pro­pri­ate.

Ad­di­tion­ally, em­ploy­ees would not be per­mit­ted to use their per­sonal so­cial me­dia pres­ence as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of QACPS or the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion of Queen Anne’s County. The pol­icy fur­ther states, “In all cases, an em­ployee is not au­tho­rized to use his or her per­sonal use of so­cial me­dia to em­bar­rass, ha­rass, an­noy, or in­tim­i­date an­other em­ployee of QACPS. Em­ploy­ees are ex­pected to mon­i­tor their own sites.”

Three read­ings are re­quired in an open ses­sion meet­ing be­fore any changes or new pol­icy is cre­ated. The full pol­icy is avail­able for re­view and com­ment on the QACPS web­site.

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