Social Media Policy

SOCIAL MEDIA  POLICY

for Parents, Staff and Students




Rationale:

St Luke’s Primary School  is committed to providing staff, parents and students with the best possible Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) so they can access a wide range of educational resources and learning tools.


All members of the St Luke’s  community are expected to uphold the values of the school in all social media interactions. Staff, students and parents will not act in a way that the image of St Luke’s Primary School is brought into disrepute nor in a way that harms members of the school community.  Social Media should not be used to cyberbully, insult, present offensive or inappropriate content or to misrepresent St. Luke’s Primary School or any member of the school community.


Definition:

Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.


Aims:


The acceptable use of Social Networking sites provides an opportunity to:

  • Use social media as a professional development tool for staff

  • Engage and interact online e.g. collaborating on Classroom Google

  • Monitor student and staff interaction over the school network

  • Upload student and staff videos to Web 2.0 sites for learning purposes

  • Improve communication with the school community


Overview:


Social Networking Sites, Web 2.0 tools, Blogs and World Wide Web Sites must be considered as documents that are published in the public domain. Such sites allow the free sharing of information and opinions.


It is assumed that cloud computing, such as Google Apps for Education, is common practice in society and St Luke’s students and staff will access and store data in the cloud.  


Information placed online may be useful, entertaining, and provide a medium for friends to share experiences, photographs, messages and generally to stay in touch. On the other hand entries that breach privacy conventions or regulations, may be considered to be "cyber bullying"; they may be defamatory, obscene, libelous or regarded as inappropriate.


Information published on the WWW, including that on Social Networking sites, Web 2.0 sites and blogs should be considered to be permanently published. It is almost impossible to remove information once it has appeared, even when it seems to have

been taken down.


Classroom blogs and other Social Media tools open up communication between students, parents and teachers. This kind of communication and collaboration can have a positive impact on learning at St Luke’s Primary School.  The school encourages parents to collaborate with online communication when requested. It is expected that parents act responsibly and respectfully at all times, understanding that their conduct not only reflects on the school community, but will be a model for our students as well.


STUDENT GUIDELINES


Online behavior should at all times demonstrate a Christ-centered respect for the dignity of each person.


Many teachers use Google Classroom and blogs for communication and also as educational teaching tool.  All posts should be moderated and approved by teachers before being published online.


Creating videos is an engaging learning activity.  Students enjoy the opportunity to share videos online.  When videos are posted online, the videos will be set to ‘private’ and only members of the school community (parents, teachers, students) will be allowed access to student videos*.

*Unless special circumstances exist and prior approval from the Principal and parents has been obtained.


Student use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik whilst at school, is forbidden. The school's ICT resources are provided for teaching and learning. Student use of Social Networking sites at home is the responsibility of the parents and must not implicate the extended school community in any way.  They should respect the rights and confidentiality of others.


Information and opinion that refers directly or indirectly to St Luke’s, its administration, its students or its members of staff must not be posted unless officially sanctioned by the Principal or Deputy Principal and the individual(s) concerned.


Students are not permitted to join a staff member’s area on networking sites. If students attempt to do this, the member of staff is to refuse the student access and inform the Principal. The student’s parents will be informed if this happens.  



Student use of social networking sites, out of school hours, should not:

  • Post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or incite violence against others.  

  • Impersonate or falsely represent another person.

  • Give out personal information. This includes last names, phone numbers, addresses, exact birth dates and pictures.  (Photos can not be posted when in school uniform).

  • Bully, intimidate, abuse, harass or threaten others.

  • Harm the reputation of St Luke’s Primary School or those within its community.

  • Engage in bullying, spamming, illegal behaviour, malicious blogging or similar antisocial behaviours. Students who engage in antisocial behaviours in a social networking or blogging site that have ramifications within the school community (such as bullying a fellow student) will be subject to school regulations regarding such behaviour even though the infringements occurred outside the school.



Students are advised to use blogging provider sites with clearly stated terms of use, and make sure they can protect the actual blogs, not just the user accounts, with password protection. However, it should always be presumed that anyone can see it.


STAFF GUIDELINES


Online behaviour should at all times demonstrate a Christ-centered respect for the dignity of each person.  


Teaching staff should avoid giving out personal details such as home or mobile phone numbers or private email addresses.


Employees need to be aware that the public nature of blogs and social networking sites means that anyone can read your comments, including parents, your employer, a prospective employer or a person seeking information about your personality, political or religious views.


It is recognised that employees may use social media in their personal life.  However it is also recognised that such use may impact on the employment relationship.  


Accordingly, employees’ personal use of social media staff must not:


  • Bring themselves or the School into disrepute or interfere with, or impede, an employee’s duties or responsibilities to the School and/or students

  • Discuss students or colleagues or publicly criticise school policies or personnel on social networking sites.

  • While staff have permission to post photographs of students to the class blog they do not have permission to post details that would identify any child.  

  • Post on Social Media without the written consent of the parents.

  • Participate in spreading false or unsubstantiated rumours or false information in regards to the St Luke’s community and its members.  

  • Post confidential student information.

It is suggested that staff:

  • Avoid connections with the following persons on social media forums (for example, being “friends” on Facebook):

  • Recent former students (ie. enrolled at the School within a two year period before connecting);

  • Parents of current students*

*Unless special circumstances exist and prior approval from the Principal has been obtained.  When teachers and parents connect online, professionalism must always be a priority.

  • Take steps to ensure that friends, family or other acquaintances are aware of the need to use discretion when they post images or information about the employee on their own social media forums

  • Interact online only in an  educational context.


PARENT’S/COMMUNITY  GUIDELINES:


Online behavior should at all times demonstrate a Christ-centered respect for the dignity of each person.


St Luke’s understands that social networking is part of life.  It is the way many people connect. The school reminds parents and students to exercise caution and suggests community members avoid discussing school issues online, especially issues where there are “two sides” and provocation can occur.


The school requests the community to remember the following guidelines with regard to social networking and posting and posting about school business from home devices:

  • Appropriate language should always be used (no swearing).

  • Students, teachers and school administration must never be named on social networking sites.

  • Parents rights not to have their children’s photos posted on Facebook should be respected.

  • Before uploading photos, audio or video, parents need to seek appropriate written permission from any individual involved.

  • Respect the rights of parents to post their children’s photos on their chosen social media.

  • Online posts about the school should be framed in a positive manner at all times. Negative views should be expressed through discussion with school staff.

  • Be aware that many Social Media sites have age restrictions that DO HAVE implications for their primary aged children. Parents need to monitor their children’s online social media activity, and read the terms and conditions of various Social Media sites and applications their children are interested in using - many of them have age restrictions for their use. Eg Facebook, Instagram and Gmail are all restricted to those 13 years of age and above.  

  • Social media accounts, such as Facebook, can not be set up using the “St Luke’s” name as any interactions can implicate the brand of the School and Parish.



Emails to staff:


St Luke’s staff use email to communicate with parents.  St Luke’s staff request the following guidelines be adhered to when using email to communicate:

  • Emails should be used to set up a meeting with the purpose to discuss an issue.  

  • Emails must not be abusive, aggressive or forceful in nature.  Emails that are inflammatory, overly aggressive or abusive will be referred to the Principal and appropriate action will be taken.

  • Teachers are in classes carrying their role as educators throughout the day.  They also have yard duty to meet their duty of care responsibilities. Email can not be answered immediately.  St Luke’s staff will endeavour to answer emails within two business days (not weekends) on those occasions where a response is necessary.


The guidelines above will be adhered to by staff when an email is sent to a parent.


Legal Liability


When individuals choose to go public with opinions via a blog, Web 2.0 tool, Social Networking sites or a personal website, they are legally responsible for their commentary. Individuals can be held personally liable for any commentary deemed to be defamatory, threatening, obscene, proprietary or libelous.


Employees should exercise caution with regards to exaggeration, colourful language, guesswork, obscenity, copyrighted materials, legal conclusions, and derogatory remarks or characterizations. The summary position is that you post online at your own risk. Outside parties can pursue legal action against you for postings.


Privileged Information


It is forbidden for employees of St Luke’s to divulge, post or publish any confidential, proprietary or privileged information pertaining to the school, its staff, its students, its policies, finance or procedures. This information may not appear in a blog, a personal web site or a social networking site.


We acknowledge that technology changes rapidly. If any member of the St Luke’s community has a concern or question pertaining to Social Media or Social Networking sites, this should be directed to the Principal.  


Parents, students or staff who have a complaint or issue arise from Social Media should contact the Principal.


Evaluation:

This policy will be reviewed as part of the school improvement cycle.

This policy was ratified by the Advisory Board on 23/9/18.






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