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Back to Index | Relevant Policy - 7.67 Staff Use of Digital Communications
7.67.P.2 Staff Use of Digital Communications
PROCEDURE PROCEDURE
SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES

The Dysart Unified School District supports the use of online social media to facilitate District programs, departments, and school sites in communications. This section of the social media guidelines is intended to present to District staff members examples of guidelines for responsible and ethical use.

“Social Media” are websites and applications that enable users to create and share content either publicly or privately, or to participate in social networking.  This includes, but is not limited to the various online tools that enable people to communicate easily over the internet to share information and resources. Social media can include text or direct messages, audio, video, images, podcasts  and other multimedia communications. These platforms not only provide information, but allow for interaction during this informational exchange through user-generated content.

Staff Social Media Use
 
  • Work/Personal Distinction – Staff members must maintain a clear distinction between their personal social media use and any District or school-related social media sites.  Staff members should not connect with or follow parents or students on social media and should direct any personal social media contact from a student or parent back to approved District communication methods.  An employee’s responsibility to Dysart does not end when he/she is off the clock. Any personal social media account should follow the below guidelines:
 
  • If you talk about work-related matters that are within your area of job responsibility you must disclose your affiliation with the Dysart Unified School District.
  • When commenting on the business of the District and unless authorized to speak on behalf of Dysart, you must state that the views expressed are your own. This includes placing the phrase “Views expressed are my own.” in the biographic information.
  • The Dysart Unified School District will not tolerate discrimination (including race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin and disability or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state, or local laws, regulations or ordinances).
 
  • Professional Image – District employees must be mindful that any information posted to the Internet is ultimately accessible to the world. To avoid jeopardizing their professional image, employees are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the privacy policies, settings and protections on any social networking websites to which they choose to subscribe and be aware that information posted online, despite privacy protections, can be viewed by students, parents, and supervisors. Note: Remember that anything posted on the Internet can live virtually forever.
 
  • Personal Social Networking & Media Accounts – Before employees create or join an online social network, they should ask themselves whether they would be comfortable if a 'friend' decided to send the information to their students, the students’ parents, or their supervisor, as this sometimes occurs. Employees must understand the implications of joining an online social network and what content they post about themselves.
 
  • Social Networking with District Students – Employees should not have online interactions with students on social networking sites outside of those forums dedicated to academic use. Personal profiles on social media sites should not be linked to student online profiles. Additionally, District employees shall use appropriate discretion when using social networks for personal communications and should limit this activity to off-duty hours.  

Because online content can be spread in mere seconds to a mass audience, employees should ask themselves before posting any information online whether they would be comfortable having this information published in the news. If you would not bring it into the classroom or school site, do not post it online!

Types of Accounts

There are four types of social media accounts associated with the Dysart Unified School District.
 
  • District Accounts - Those maintained and monitored by the Communications and Public Relations Department
  • School Site Accounts - The official school accounts maintained and monitored by school site administrators and/or designed employees
  • School-Related Accounts - Those maintained and monitored by a designated school site employee (i.e. clubs, classes, sports, activities, etc.)
  • Individual Accounts - Those maintained and monitored by a single person
  • Personal: Those created with personal email address 
  • Professional: Those created with a District email address.

Requisite Authorization
 
  • Authorization - All official District and School Site Accounts will be created by the Communications and Public Relations Department. School sites will be given access to manage and maintain the account as Content Owners. School-Related accounts, such as clubs, teams, field trips, courses, or other sites associated with any District school must be approved by the site administrator prior to creation. Any sites, accounts or pages existing absent prior authorization will be subject to review, editing and removal. As appropriate, a recommendation for disciplinary action may result. To request permission for a School-Related or Individual Professional Account, please submit the Social Media Account Authorization Form and identify a “Content Owner,” or individual responsible for performing regular monitoring and maintenance of the account. The form can be obtained from the site administrator or Communications and Public Relations Department.
 
  • Foundation and PTA Sites - Authorized school digital communications shall maintain a clear separation from their school foundation or parent-teacher group. However, a link to the school foundation or parent-teacher group account is permissible.
 
  • District and School Logos - The use of the Dysart Unified School District and school site logo(s) on a social media site must be approved by the Communications and Public Relations Department. For approved logo use, follow Dysart Unified School District Logo Guidelines established by the Communications and Public Relations Department and available on the District and school site websites.
 
  • General District Sites and Accounts - The District’s general social media sites will be managed by the Communications and Public Relations Department. Duplicate, unofficial sites shall be reported and investigated.
 
  • Sponsors and Advertising - Sponsor logos are permissible on District-related websites or social media accounts with the prior approval of the site administrator, and must align with District policy (11.19).

Account Creation

District, school site, and individual professional social media accounts must be created using a District email address. School-Related social media accounts must be approved by and accessible to a site administrator and the designated Content Owner.  Individual personal accounts must be created using a personal email address.

Maintenance and Monitoring Responsibilities

Content Owners are fully responsible for regular monitoring of the site, appropriate online conduct, adhering to the District’s policies and procedures, and maintaining official presences on social media sites as follows:
 
  • Content must conform to all applicable state and federal laws, as well as all District and board policies and administrative procedures.
  • Content must be kept current and accurate, and should be regularly updated, following Dysart Unified School District guidelines and policies.
  • Content must not violate copyright or intellectual property laws and the Content Owner must secure the expressed consent of all involved parties for the right to distribute or publish recordings, photos, images, video, text, slideshow presentations, artwork, or any other materials.
  • Before posting any photographs of students, Content Owners shall review the list of students whose parents have not consented to having their child’s photograph taken or published. No student photographs should be published for personal, promotional use, or any other non-school related purpose. The District’s student photography policy does not apply to public events (athletic games, artistic performances, after-school activities, or any event that takes place outside school hours and is open to the public.)
  • The Communications and Public Relations Department recommends that Content Owners request that a second person review all photographs prior to publication. One person may catch issues that the first set of eyes overlooked.
  • All postings and comments by users are monitored and responded to, as necessary, on a regular basis. Postings and comments of an inappropriate nature or containing information unrelated to official or District business should be deleted promptly. Such postings shall be reported, investigated, and authors will be disciplined as appropriate.

Posting Guidelines

For District, School Site, School-Related, and Individual Professional accounts, the following posting guidelines should be included in the account information (i.e. “About” section on Facebook) to define the rules for people interacting on the site. Posts or comments that do not follow these guidelines should be removed.
 
  • You participate at your own risk, taking personal responsibility for your comments, your username and any information provided.
  • Posts will be removed and users may be banned permanently if they violate any of the guidelines listed below.
  • While this is an open forum, it's also a family-friendly one. Please keep your comments and posts appropriate.
  • Do not post graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments. We also do not allow comments that are abusive, hateful, vindictive or intended to defame anyone or any organization.
  • Do not post any solicitations (ex: asking users to "like" your Facebook page, visit your website, sign a petition).
  • Do not post non-school/District-related advertisements, prize contests or giveaways.
  • Apparent spamming or trolling will be removed and may cause the author(s) to be blocked from the page without notice.
  • Do not post copyrighted or trademarked images or graphics. Imagery posted should be owned by the user.
  • Do not post comments, photos or videos that suggest or encourage illegal activity.
  • Do not post political propaganda.

Any approved School-Related social media accounts outside of those created and monitored by the District’s Communications and Public Relations Department shall include the following text in the profile information when possible:
 
  • “Views expressed on this account do not reflect the views of, nor are endorsed by, the Dysart Unified School District.”
  • OR, if space is limited, “Views expressed are my/our own.”