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Social Networking

Professional standards dictate that an adult should never be alone with a student in an isolated space (e.g., one student, one teacher together in a classroom with the door closed after school operating hours). This is true in online environments as well.  Social networking sites are structured to be closed environments, and as such the Dysart Unified School District discourages students and teachers from using them to communicate with one another directly via third party applications.  DUSD provides websites, blogs, and email for students and teachers to communicate and collaborate.

If a student or teacher desires to use a social networking site to communicate and collaborate, DUSD recommends using the DUSD provided learning management system, Schoology.  In such an environment, students and teachers are both protected by documenting exchanges.

Teachers  and staff that feel that "mainstream sites" such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, and Facebook will add educational value that can not be attained without such sites, should communicate their intentions with their building level administrator and the parents of their students.  Administrators will need to work with District Administration in addressing these requests.

Teachers must remember that they should not assume that all students have access to the Internet or to social networking sites, and should not use these as the sole source of communication nor instruction.

Guidelines for the use of social networking sites by professional staff:
  • Do not accept students as friends on personal social networking sites. Decline any student-initiated friend requests.
  • Do not initiate relationships with students via social media platforms.
  • Do not seek out nor follow student accounts.
  • It is highly recommended for professional and personal security to visit your social media profile security and privacy settings. At a minimum, educators should have all privacy settings set to “only friends.” “Friends of friends” and “Networks and Friends” open your content to a large group of unknown people.
  • Individuals classified as “friends” or follow your account have the ability to download and share your information with others. Post only what you want the world to see. Imagine your students, their parents, or your administrator have access to publicly available information positive and negative. On a social networking sites, once you post something it may be available, even after it is removed from the site - this includes social networks that have content that expires over time such as Snapchat or Instagram stories
  • Remember, working in education requires that we be respectful of our students, families, and fellow staff.  Any statements on social media that reference work duties or individuals still fall under our responsibilities of FERPA and workplace expectations.
  • When available, use school-supported networking tools.
  • Have a clear statement of purpose and outcomes for the use of the networking tool.
  • Do not post images that include students without parental release forms on file.
  • Do not use commentary deemed to be defamatory, obscene, proprietary, or libelous. Exercise caution with regards to exaggeration, colorful language, guesswork, obscenity, copyrighted materials, legal conclusions, and derogatory remarks or characterizations.
  • Weigh whether a particular posting puts your effectiveness as a teacher at risk.
  • If a staff member learns of information, on the social networking site, that falls under the mandatory reporting guidelines, they must report it as required by law.
Social Networking Guidelines
Social Networking Guidelines We all want to feel connected. We talk, email, chat, and now we snap. While it is easier to ...