Employee Use of Social and Educational Networking Sites

The Yarmouth School Committee recognizes that technological resources enhance employee performance by offering effective tools to assist in providing a quality instructional program and facilitating communications with parents/guardians, students and the community. Employees shall be responsible for the appropriate use of technology both when the technology tools are provided by the district and when any use of technology interacts with students and other staff members. 

Educational networking sites enable ongoing communication purposely designed for educational use. Social networking sites such as Facebook and others, are used primarily for personal social interactions. School district employees are prohibited from engaging in any conduct on social or educational networking sites that violates the law, School Committee policies, or other standards of conduct. Additionally, the School Committee developed the following expectations and recommendations for the use of these technology tools to ensure positive professional relationships between students and district staff, to model good online behavior for students, and to protect students from inappropriate content: 

Staff members using social networking sites shall:

  1. Not accept current Yarmouth students (once students have graduated they are no longer “current” students) as friends on personal social networking sites. 

  2. Decline any student-initiated friend requests.

  3. Not initiate friendships with students.

  4. Not post confidential information about students, staff or district business.

Recommendations for the use of social networking sites by staff members: 

  1. Visit your profile’s security and privacy settings. At a minimum, staff members should have all privacy settings set to “only friends” so that your content is not open to a large group of unknown people.

  2. Since people classified as “friends” have the ability to download and share your information with others, post only what you want the world to see. 

  3. While you have a right to free expression, do consider more effective means of dialogue before using social networking sites to discuss student issues or publicly criticize school policies or personnel. 

Staff members using educational networking sites shall:

  1. Let your administrator, fellow teachers, and parents know about your educational network.

  2. Have a clear statement of purpose and outcomes for the use of the networking tool.

  3. Establish a code of conduct for all network participants. The principal at each school will be responsible for providing sample codes of conduct.

  4. Not post images that include students without parental permission.

  5. Pay close attention to the site’s security settings and allow only approved participants access to the site.

Recommendations for the use of educational networking sites by staff members:

  1. When available, use school-supported networking tools.

Do not say or do anything that you would not say or do as a teacher in the classroom or as a staff member performing his or her duties.

Cross Reference:

Adopted: June 11, 2010
Revised:  April 12, 2018