Elkhart Community School Board approves social media policy - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Elkhart Community School Board approves social media policy


Are your kids Facebook friends with their teachers?  Do they tweet at their educators?  Elkhart Community Schools is now getting involved in teacher-student online relationships.

Tuesday night the school board unanimously voted to approve the five page Social Media Policy.  It outlines how school district employees should use social media in the classroom and to communicate with students. 

The policy states it was created because, "social media often blurs the lines between personal voice and institutional voice"

The policy approved by the board says school employees may not communicate with students through personal social media accounts, unless they have a family relationship with the student, it's an emergency, or they have written approval.

Douglas Thorne, the Executive Director of Personnel and Legal Services for the district helped craft the policy.  He says not being friends with students on Facebook is one of the biggest restrictions in the policy and the rest of it is mostly guidelines.  "Whether it be a telephone, text message, whatever, people can enter into scenarios that are not in their best interests and so at this point in time we think it's best to do this, make parents more comfortable with the use of Facebook.  We really want to put a lot of the control in the hands of our parents," said Thorne.

Thorne also said another big part of the policy is protecting students privacy.  So teachers cannot post students work on social media sites without the students and parents permission.

"We recognize students are using it, staff members are using it and I think it's important for us to help make sure that it's being use appropriately," said Thorne.

Teachers can use professional social media sites in the classroom for educational purposes.  Teachers can also create a professional social media site for their classroom or subject area but they have to submit a written request and get it approved by the principal.

When it comes to their personal pages Teachers should use discretion because the policy states they are always representing the school district.

With the board's approval Tuesday night the new policy is now effective.  Over the next couple of weeks the district will be working with teachers and staff members to distribute the new policy and help everyone understand it.


Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.