Idaho Falls School District 91 recognizes that social media and other online tools can be a powerful way to connect and engage with students, parents and patrons. The purpose of these guidelines is to help teachers and staff use these tools in a respectful, relevant way that protects their reputation and the reputation of Idaho Falls School District 91.
For these purposes, social media and online tools include, but are not limited to, social networking and media sharing sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Flickr, Tumblr, YouTube and Instagram. It also includes blogs, comments on websites, discussion forums and other online activity.
These guidelines are intended to complement, not replace, Idaho Falls School District 91’s existing policies and procedures. They also are designed to support the Professional Code of Ethics.
- Your online behavior should reflect the same standards of honesty, respect and consideration you live everyday offline.
- Social media forums are very public so we ask you carefully consider your remarks to ensure they properly represent your professional reputation. Before you post or share content, ask yourself:
- Would I want this on the evening news, on the front page of the newspaper or shared at a neighborhood barbecue?
- Would I feel comfortable if my colleagues, students, parents or principal read this content?
- If your answer is “No,” you may want to reconsider the post.
- Express your ideas and opinions in a respectful manner.
- Be thoughtful and avoid the use of racial slurs, innuendos, obscenities or other inappropriate content. And, do not share content that could be considered obscene or inappropriate.
- Use common sense, and understand social media blurs the lines between public and private. While teachers and staff are private citizens, derogatory comments about students, colleagues or schools can do considerable damage to their professional reputations. Such comments are not constitutionally protected speech and can result in disciplinary action. As a result, we:
- Encourage staff to post information that helps build support for the school community.
- Discourage staff from commenting on or perpetuating rumors and other unsupported information.
- Respect the privacy and rights of both colleagues and students. Confidential student or personnel information should not be posted online. Photos or video with clearly identifiable students should not be posted without prior parental or student permission, and staff should be vigilant not to violate any provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
- You are responsible for all content you publish, including personal comments, links, photographs, audio or video files. In addition, you are responsible for any content created by others that you choose to share or repost.
- You also are responsible for understanding and controlling privacy settings on the social media you use. Always assume that default settings will make your profile and any content you share publicly accessible. Even with maximum privacy settings your content could still find its ways into the public domain.
- Be mindful that once you post something online, you really cannot take it back. You may delete it, but others may have already taken a screen shot, reposted the information or shared it with a wide audience.
- Before you create any social media account, blog or website intended to represent your school, any school organization or Idaho Falls School District 91 be sure to receive prior approval from your supervisor or the superintendent.
- In addition, teachers and staff should not claim to be speaking or issuing opinions on behalf of Idaho Falls School District 91 or their school unless they have received prior approval from an administrator or the superintendent.
- In some cases, staff may want to add a disclaimer stating their views and content are exclusively their own and do not represent their school or Idaho Falls School District 91.
If you have created a social media account, blog or website for a school or an organization affiliated with your school, please register the site so it can be included in the district’s social media directory.