Policy Title: Staff & Volunteer Technology Acceptable Use and Social Networking Policy Code No. 401.13
Electronic devices are a powerful and valuable education and research tool and, as such, are an important part of the instructional program. In addition, the School District depends upon technology as an integral part of administering and managing the Schools' resources, including the compilation of data and recordkeeping for personnel, students, finances, supplies, and materials. This policy outlines the Board's expectations in regard to these different aspects of the School District's technology resources. Employees must abide by this policy and conduct themselves in a manner that does not disrupt the educational process and failure to do so will result in discipline, up to and including, discharge.
The Superintendent is responsible for designating a Technology Director who will oversee the use of school district technology resources. The School District will provide in-service programs for the training and development of school district staff in technology skills, appropriate use of technology, and for the incorporation of technology use in subject areas.
The Superintendent, working with appropriate staff, shall establish regulations governing the use and security of the School District's computer resources. The School District will make every reasonable effort to maintain the security of the system. All users of the School District's technology resources, including students, staff, and volunteers, shall comply with this policy and regulation, as well as others impacting the use of school equipment and facilities. Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, as well as suspension and/or revocation of computer access privileges.
Usage of the School District's technology resources is a privilege that entails responsibility. All information on the School District's computer system is considered a public record. Whether there is an exception to keep some narrow, specific content within the information confidential is determined on a case by case basis. Therefore, users of the School District's network must not expect, nor does the School District guarantee, privacy for e-mail or use of the School District's network including websites visited. The School District reserves the right to access and view any material stored on school district sites or any material used in conjunction with the School District's computer network.
The Superintendent, working with the appropriate staff, shall establish procedures governing management of electronic records in order to exercise appropriate control over electronic records, including financial, personnel, and student information. The procedures will address:
- system administration
- separation of duties
- remote access
- data back-up (including archiving of e-mail)
- record retention
- disaster recovery plans
Social Networking or Other External Web Sites
For purposes of this policy, any web site, other than the School District web site or school district sanctioned web sites, are considered external web sites. Social media networks are defined to include: web sites, blogs, wikis, social networks, online forums, and virtual worlds.
Employees shall not post confidential or proprietary information, including photographic images, about the School District, it's employees, students, agents, or others on any external web site without consent of their principal or supervisor. The employee shall adhere to all applicable privacy and confidentiality policies adopted by the School District when on external web sites.
Employees shall not use school district time, with the exception of lunch time, on external sites that are not in direct-relation to the employee's job.
Employees, students, and volunteers need to realize that the Internet is not a closed system and anything posted on an external site may be viewed by others, all over the world. Employees, students, and volunteers who don't want school officials to know their personal information, should refrain from exposing it on the Internet.
Employees, who would like to use a social media network for school district sanctioned activities or classroom use, may do so, but must submit information about the social media site through the Social Media Networks form, and follow the Guidelines for Policy #401.13: Social Media Networks.
Employees must avoid posting any information or engaging in communications that violate state or federal laws or District policies.
Employees are advised to maintain their professionalism as District employees and have responsibility for addressing inappropriate behavior or activity on these networks, including requirements for mandated reporting. Because readers of social media networks may view the employee as a representative of the schools and the District, the District requires employees to observe the following rules when referring to the District, its schools, students, programs, activities, employees, volunteers, and communities on any social media networks:
A. An employee's use of any social media network and an employee's postings, displays, or communications on any social media network must comply with all state and federal laws and any applicable District policies. (Student photos, privacy, confidentiality, etc.)
Employees must be respectful and professional in all communications (by word, image, or other means). Employees shall not use obscene, profane, or vulgar language on any social media network or engage in communications or conduct that is harassing, threatening, bullying, libelous, defamatory, that discusses or encourages any illegal activity, or the inappropriate use of alcohol, use of illegal drugs, sexual behavior, sexual harassment, or bullying.
Employees must make clear that any views expressed are the employee's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the District.
Employees may not act as a spokesperson for the District or post comments as a representative of the District, except as authorized by the Superintendent or the Superintendent's designee. When authorized as a spokesperson for the District, employees must disclose their employment relationship with the District.
Employees may not disclose information on any social media network that is confidential or proprietary to the District, it's students, or employees or that is protected by data privacy laws.
Employees shall not use the School District logos, images, iconography, etc. on personal web sites that are not for school use.
Employees may not post images on any social media network of co-workers without the co-workers' consent.
Employees may not post images of students on any social media network without written parental consent, except for images of students taken in the public arena, such as at sporting events or fine arts public performances.
Employees may not post any building floor plans.
B. The District recognizes that student groups or members of the public may create social media content relating to students or groups with the District. When employees, including coaches/advisors, choose to join or engage with these social networking groups, they do so as an employee of the District. Employees have responsibility for maintaining appropriate employee-student relationships at all times and have responsibility for addressing inappropriate behavior or activity on these networks. This includes acting to protect the safety of minors online.
C. Employees who participate in social media networks may decide to include information about their work with the District as part of their personal profile, as it would relate to a typical social conversation. This may include:
- Work information included in a personal profile, to include District name, job title, and job duties.
- Status updates regarding an employee's own job promotion.
- Personal participation in District-sponsored events, including volunteer activities.
D. An employee who is responsible for a social media network posting that fails to comply with the rules and guidelines set forth in this policy may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination. Employees will be held responsible for the disclosure, whether purposeful or inadvertent, of confidential or private information, information that violates the privacy rights or other rights of a third party, or the content of anything posted on any social media network.
E. Anything posted on an employee's web site or other Internet content for which the employee is responsible will be subject to all District policies, rules, regulations, and guidelines. The District is free to view and monitor an employee's web site at any time without consent or previous approval. Where applicable, employees may be asked to disclose to the District the existence of and to provide the District with access to an employee's web site or other personal social media network as part of an employment selection, promotion, or disciplinary process.
It is the responsibility of the Superintendent to develop administrative regulations implementing this policy.
Approved: August 12, 2014
Reviewed: September 11, 2018
Revised: September 11, 2018
Legal Reference: Iowa Code § 279.8 (2017)
Cross Reference: 104 Anti-Bullying/Harassment; 306 Administrator Code of Ethics; 401.11 Employee Orientation; 407 Licensed Employee Termination of Employment; 413 Classified Employee T