Social media is an effective means of engaging with your school community and can even be a great teaching tool in the classroom, but there are problems that can arise when utilizing it. A social media policy can help your school avoid potential social media pitfalls and keep its online spaces positive. Your social media policy will be a guide for administrators, teachers, and students on using your school’s social media in a responsible and productive way, as well as a way to discourage inappropriate online behavior. If your school uses any social media, having a strong policy behind it is a must.
You can download our pre-made template for a social media policy here, which you can edit and use quickly and easily. If you would rather write your own, here are some important topics to address in your school’s social media policy:
Your code of conduct applies as much online as it does offline. When using social media, all members of your school community should be expected to treat others with respect and behave appropriately for a school environment.
Anyone representing your school online should be polite and courteous to others and refrain from using inappropriate language or posting anything that would not belong in a classroom. Faculty members especially should avoid posting about their personal views that are not school-related.
Personal and Private Information
Once something is posted on social media, it’s on the internet forever for all the world to see. Users should not share any confidential information that has been trusted to them, nor should they post personal information about themselves such as their birth date, personal email, or home address.
Use of Images
When posting images on social media, your school should make sure that you have permission to use them. Pay attention to copyright and trademarks, and don’t use images in ways that would violate those licenses. Generally, it’s not acceptable to post pictures of students without getting written consent from their parents or to post images of co-workers or others without their permission.
If a student ever sees a post, image, or anything else on social media that makes them fear for their personal safety or the safety of a classmate, your policy should encourage them to tell the nearest teacher, faculty, or parent about it right away. Students using social media should take steps to protect their personal information and never share their phone number, address, social security number, birthday, or financial information without permission from an adult.
Cyberbullying should never be tolerated. Your policy should expressly forbid students from using social media to harass, frighten, or hurt their peers. Students who cyberbully should face severe disciplinary action and a loss of privileges. Remind them that cyberbullying can sometimes be a crime with even more serious consequences.
Keeping these factors in mind, you will be able to implement a strong and thorough social media policy for your school.
Download Our Social Media Policy Template!
Define your social media policy to ensure that your faculty and staff are using it appropriately. We created a pre-made template that you can download and edit as you see fit: