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Vista USD |  AR  1114  Community Relations

District-Sponsored Social Media   

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Definitions

Social media means any online platform for collaboration, interaction, and active participation, Including but not limited to, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, or blogs.

Official District social media platform is a site authorized by the Superintendent or designee. Sites that have not been authorized by the Superintendent or designee but that contain content

Related to the district or comments on district operations, such as a site created by a parent-teacher organization, booster club, or other school-connected organization of a student's or employee's personal site, are not considered Official District social media platforms.

Authorization for Official District Social Media Platforms

The Superintendent or designee shall authorize the development of any official district social media platform. The District will create a form for employees, students, and/or community members (including parent-teacher associations and booster clubs) to complete for requesting approval to create an Official District social media and/or networking site. The request for approval form will ask for information about the purpose of the social media and/or networking site, the proposed content, the person designated to maintain the site, and any links and images which may be contained on the site.

Guidelines for Content

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that Official District social media platforms provide current information regarding district programs, activities, and operations, consistent with the goals and purposes of this policy and regulation. Official District social media platforms shall contain content that is appropriate for all audiences.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that copyright laws are not violated in the use of materials on Official District media platforms.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that Official District social media platforms are regularly monitored. Staff members responsible for monitoring content may remove posts based on viewpoint-neutral considerations, such as lack of relation to the site's purpose or violation of the District's Policy, Regulation or content guidelines.

Each Official District social media platform shall prominently display:

1. The purpose of the site along with a statement that users are expected to use the site only for those intended purposes.

2. Information on how to use the security settings of the social media platform.

3. A statement that the site is regularly monitored and that any inappropriate post will be promptly removed. Inappropriate posts include those that:

a. Are obscene, libelous, or so incite students as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on school premises, violation of school rules, or substantial disruption of the school's orderly operation

b. Are not related to the stated purpose of the site, including, but not limited to, comments of a commercial nature, political activity, and comments that constitute discrimination or harassment

4. Protocols for users, including expectations that users will communicate in a respectful, courteous, and professional manner.

5. A statement that users are personally responsible for the content of their posts and that the district is not responsible for the content of external online platforms.

6. A disclaimer that the views and comments expressed on the site are those of the Users and do not necessarily reflect the views of the district.

7. A disclaimer that any user's reference to a specific commercial product or service does not imply endorsement or recommendation of that product or service by the district.

8. The individual(s) to contact regarding violation of district guidelines on the use of Official District social media platforms.

District employees who participate in Official District social media platforms shall adhere to all applicable district policies and procedures, including, but not limited to, professional standards related to interactions with students.

Appropriate Use of Social Media

District employee, students and community members who access, or post content to, Official District social media and/or networking sites shall:

1. Where appropriate, identify himself or herself by name and District title.

2. Ensure the factual accuracy of content

3. Not identify himself or herself as a representative of or spokesperson for the District unless approval has been given by the Superintendent/designee. This includes the use of school logos, mascots, photographs, or other such graphic representations or images associated with the District

4. Keep content current and respond to comments in a timely fashion

5. Communicate with others in a respectful, courteous and professional manner

6. Not communicate in a manner that could be considered bullying, intimidation or harassment

7. Immediately report online communications that violate these guidelines to his or her supervisor and/or site principal

8. Refrain from using Official District social media and/or networking site to provide access to a personal online forum, or to promote or advertise personal events, commercial activities, political endeavors or other enterprises, except as permitted by Board Policies and Administrative Regulations

9. Follow all laws, District Board Policies and Administrative Regulations

Use of Official District social media and/or networking sites in violation of this Administrative Regulation may result in disciplinary actions, up to and including termination of employment, expulsion, and/or referral to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. The District may suspend or terminate user rights for individuals who violate District policies and/or regulations.

Employees who use personal social media and/or networking sites are further encouraged to:

1. Refrain from accepting current school district students as "friends" on personal social networking sites

2. Refrain from providing personal contact information to students

3. Refrain from discussing or posting images of students or employees on social networking sites

4. Not create an alias, false or anonymous identity on any social media

5. Consider whether a particular posting puts your professional reputation and effectiveness as a District employee at risk

All staff shall receive information about appropriate use of the Official District social media platforms.

Regulation VISTA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

approved: July 19, 2012 Vista, California