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New Social Media Policy for Teachers Approved

Policy prohibits district educators from 'inappropriately fraternizing with students' online.

A new policy outlining the appropriate use of social media by school district employees was approved by the Board of Education Thursday.

The policy covers all social media sites and applications, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+.

Under the new policy, employees are prohibited from:

  • Posting to sites during work hours, which include updating their Facebook status, unless it involves a school project. Employees would need approval from the Superintendent before posts could be made.
  • Publishing information the state commissioner of education would deem inappropriate or that would be inappropriate to say in a classroom or professional workplace. This includes profanity and personal attacks.
  • Improperly fraternizing with students.
  • Posting any identifying student information, including names, videos, and photographs, without written permission from a student’s parent and the school’s principal first.

“Employees should exercise care in setting appropriate boundaries between their personal and public online behavior, understanding that what is private in the digital world often has the possibility of becoming public even without their knowledge or consent,” the policy states.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Concerned Parent/teacher October 19, 2012 at 01:49 PM
What a joke! How about give them support in the classroom or raise their pay. For what teachers make and what we are asked to do is crazy. Grow up Wayne. Less than a year ago you fought to keep a bunch of kids who beat another kid and hospitalized him in a Playoff Football game, maybe the BOE should make some policies about morals and priorities in life.
Jack Q October 19, 2012 at 02:44 PM
The bigger concern is the fraternizing with students which has been the gateway to every instance of teachers having relation with students. By the way, last year I receive several emails from Concerned Parent/Teacher in support of the fired principal. Not saying that was you, but that issue is also part of this. How did a teacher get access to the school's master email list, which is only supposed to be used by school administration? And each email was sent during school hours? While I understand that teachers get lunch breaks, but explain how these addresses were accessed?
Flood Plain October 19, 2012 at 04:15 PM
The policy seems appropriate except for the part in bullet point #2 that is relating to first amendment activities by teachers on their own home computers, on their own time, and on what may be questionable, but are legal topics.
Joe videodummy October 19, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Facebook and twitter are the two most powerful sources for news and human communication for individuals as well as whole communities. Both of these internet platforms allow users to generate and share content used to build both ideological and technological platforms. Internet forums, weblogs, podcasts, social networks, social media, photograph sharing, video streaming, and real face-time should be mandatory teaching tools by now since they focus on all of the necessary building blocks that make up our education system. Students/teachers/parents/professionals all need to understand that social media has no sensors, but it can provide an excellent environment to promote themselves, their products, their image, as well a provide an open arena to listen and respond to what others are saying about them/ or their products. What our public schools is lacking is social media monitoring tools and social media monitors that work with the students by keeping them on topic instead of allowing them to post "freely". By using different tools such as free student subscription-based programs that include social media, and an array of teaching tools and applications. Progams that intregrate ipods, ipads, desktops, laptops, parents and students, teachers and administators all working on the same subject- EDUCATION. The current School Portal/ Fusion link is a joke. I hope we're not paying for this- if we are, we need to contact the police because we're getting robbed.
Jack Q October 19, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Joe, the world is lacking social media monitoring tools. There is nothing to stop teachers from "friending" students. What people also may not realize is that kids have one account where they"friend" their parents and create another site for everything else. Kids don't understand that friending a teacher is inappropriate, teachers should though. I don't have a problem with the portal or Fusion other than it is not utilized by all teachers. Or better yet, teachers use other websites, require email addresses to post homework. It seems that some want to re-invent the wheel.
Noel Kendall October 19, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I think the privacy of a closed system, like School Fusion, is currently appropriate for teachers, students and parents of our schools. Policing and integrating public social media will add cost (will need to employ more monitors than teachers!) and what value/benefit to integrating with every new device/format and social media phenomenon that come along?
Joe videodummy October 19, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Student portals are used through-out the country as well as many other parts of the globe. Do you know how your student is doing is school right now ( it's 1:00 p.m ) ? Do you know that he/she turned in all homework in the classes they attented so far today ? Do you know if they received new homework in those classes ? How about test scores ? Wayne Schools have no "real time" activities on their portal or fusion. Wayne Schools has no "mandatory" rules for teachers to use fusion, email or txt to tell you how your student is doing "daily". You can't find out your students grade average "right now" even if you wanted to. For that reason, you can't sit with your student this evening and use the portal to review how they did this week, and therefor, you can't implement any options to help them do better next week. You have to wait until the school calls to tell you your student arrived late, or didn't arrive at all. You don't know if your student aced or failed a test until they contact you. Schools in towns all around us are using student portals that would have you saying " yes " to everything I just posted, and the students are scoring higher because of it.
Jack Q October 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Joe, while I agree with you that it should be mandatory for teachers to use Fusion and I would like that I could see grades as they are posted, I do not agree that the site should act as a parent. My kids come home with their grades and in the past, have come home with grade sheets to be signed. I don't expect the Board or anyone else to report to me every detail of my kids' day. I can have a conversation with them. If you are not able to get that information from your children, that is a you problem, not a school problem. This isn't a nanny state where I need the school to track my kids and report back to me.
Joe videodummy October 19, 2012 at 05:34 PM
These Student Portals Im describing have pin access for the student and a seperate pin access for the parents. The students cannot access the parents account and cannot read any information the teacher has posted intended for the parent. This is all being done in real-time.
Noel Kendall October 19, 2012 at 05:44 PM
I certainly don't expect or want real-time minutiae/data about my kids in school. This would be another huge database open to misuse for what measured benefit? I much prefer qualitative summaries over a defined time period. Next request will be streaming live CCTV feeds from every classroom in the school! Big brother is watching you...
Joe videodummy October 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Jack Q Then in your case, you don't need to log in to the portal that often. The correct design of a portal is the same as having on-line access to you bank account, and having access to all of your bank accounts. There, you can check your savings, your checking, your credit card, and any other accounts like student checking accounts. You have the option of moving around money, paying bills, or reveiwing any purchases. You also have the option of not using the on-line account information- and going to the bank directly if you dispute a charge etc. On-line banking is FREE. Why should this same program in our schools cost us any money to see how our students are doing- if we wanted too !
Pad October 19, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I really haven't seen any poor teachers in Wayne. Your contracts have been generous. Especially the last one that the BOE allowed the WEA to cancel before it was up so the new contract wouldn't come under the new state guidelines. Maybe if you are unhappy here go to another town. Ask teachers in Clifton what they put up with, or Paterson etc. Maybe you should grow up and see how good you really have it.
fboy1932 October 20, 2012 at 07:29 PM
The board of education should not have its own facebook page etc..plain and simple.
bambi October 21, 2012 at 08:19 PM
do as i say, not as i do!!!!!!!!! or practice what you preach!!!!!!

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