Do Waukee School Employees Need Policing When Using Social Media?
The Waukee school board is considering a policy that could regulate school employees' use of social media.
After flying years without a net, Jerry Ripperger said the time has come for the Waukee school district to have a policy that regulates district employees' use of social media.
"We don’t have a choice," said Ripperger, president of the Waukee school board. "We have to do this not only for the benefit of the students, but also the 700-plus employees in the district. We have to lay out policies and guidelines that benefit everyone."
A first reading of the policy was provided at last Monday's school board meeting with board members voting 6-1 in favor of it as read.
What do you think? Is a policy regulating school employees' use of of social media fair? Tell us in the comments.
The policy states that district staff should, among other things: refrain from accepting current Waukee students as “friends” on personal social networking sites, refrain from providing personal contact information to students and
"remember that once something is posted to a social networking site it may remain available online even if you think it is removed and it may be far-reaching."
The policy further identitifies social media as "social networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, personal web pages or blogs, educational networking sites and electronic messaging."
The Waukee school district has never included a social media policy in its employee handbook. Ripperger said with the increasing use of social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter, in particular, the timing was right
"It took three years to get here and in many ways, having a policy for employees is more important than having one for the students," he said. "We would have a difficult time influencing what students do but we can control what school policies do in an effort to protect them."
Ripperger said the policy will be in front of the board for a second reading in May with a final draft completed by June. The new regulations will be in the employee handbook by the start of the 2012-13 school year.