Administrative Procedure 146

RESPONSIBLE USE OF ELECTRONIC SOCIAL MEDIA

Background

The Division recognizes that the use of electronic social media is a viable means to enhance learning. The Division supports the use of electronic social media to interact knowledgeably and responsibly for this stated purpose. This procedure applies to all Division students, staff, and School Council representatives.

Definition

Electronic social media refers to electronic access to and use of blogs, personal websites, RSS feeds, postings on wikis and other interactive sites, such as, but not limited to: Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Twitter, Instant Messaging, and postings on video or picture-sharing sites and elsewhere on the Internet.

Procedures

  1. Interactions Representing the Division
    1. The signature “Westwind School Division” and/or the current Division logo needs to appear in the banner for blogs, etc., or in the profile page for social media sites like Twitter. 
    2. Access and permission to use the Division’s logo can be granted by emailing the Division Communications Officer. 
    3. School logos will not be used without first obtaining written permission from the Principal or supervisor. 
    4. Unless given written permission from a Principal or supervisor, a user is not authorized to use electronic social media sites to represent a school, School Council executive, department, or the Division.
    5. In cases where a user has sought permission to represent a school, School Council, department, or Division, the user must identify themselves by name and as an employee of the Division or School Council executive. 
    6. Any use of electronic media by a user must be consistent with the duty of loyalty each user owes to the Division and must not transgress any law or civil duty of care owed to the Division or any other person. Breach of this requirement will be considered to be conduct that is subject to action by the Division and the Division will take such action as it considers is warranted.

  2. Respect, Privacy, and Confidential Information
    1. Users will not disclose confidential student information, images, or confidential school, department, or personnel records without first obtaining written consent from the Principal, supervisor, and the guardian(s) for students under the age of eighteen (18) who are not independent students, as defined in the School Act, or without first obtaining written consent from the Principal, supervisor, and from a student eighteen (18) years of age or older who is an independent student as defined in the School Act.
    2. Users will not use electronic social media sites to be defamatory or harassing towards any person and will not espouse or support any position or opinion or statement that is contrary to Board policies and Division administrative procedures. 
    3. Users will not engage electronically in behaviour or comments that would reflect negatively on a school or the Division’s reputation or the reputation of any person employed with or holding elected office with the Division.
    4. Users may be disciplined if their social media comments and postings, whether personal or school/Division related, are not in compliance with this procedure or any other policies or procedures of the Division. 
    5. Users participating in social media activities will respect copyright laws, not only in relation to the content produced on the social media sites, but also in relation to the software that enables them to operate.
    6. Users participating in electronic social media activities acknowledge that all information posted to sites is subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) if that information falls within the ambit of the information protected by and governed by FOIP.

  3. Staff-Student Online Correspondence/Interactions
    1. Online correspondence between staff and students must be related to course work, or school-sanctioned clubs/activities. Social media conversations between a staff member and a parent are subject to the provisions of this Administrative Procedure. Please see Administrative Procedure 492 for additional guidelines surrounding appropriate adult and student interactions.
    2. Private electronic messages between a staff member and a student, for any reason, are unacceptable. 
    3. Principal(s) must approve school-based electronic social media groups that will be supervised and monitored by a teacher from each participating school.
    4. Principals will ensure that all school-sanctioned electronic social media groups have at least two (2) administrators with administrative privileges.
    5. Principals will inform staff members participating in school-created electronic social media groups with students that the ethical standards for the teaching profession apply at all times, whether in a traditional school environment or an online environment.
    6. Staff will not exchange private texts, phone numbers, personal email addresses, videos or photos of a personal nature with students.
    7. Staff will not issue “friend” or “follow” requests to students and will decline similar requests from students on social media platforms. 
    8. Staff will set appropriate restrictions to maximize privacy on their social media accounts, ensuring that students cannot view or post content.

  4. Social Media Accounts
    1. Schools, School Councils, departments, or individual staff wanting to create a social media account on behalf of the school/School Council/fundraising arm of the School Council must request that a social media page be established under the Division’s corporate account. 
    2. All accounts can be set up through a formal written request to the Communications Officer. As a condition of such pages, the Principal or Assistant Principal must be one (1) of the two (2) administrators of the account, who holds the responsibility to manage the page, including removing defamatory or inappropriate remarks.

Reference

Section 31,33,52,53,68,196,204,222,225 Education Act

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Personal Information Protection Act

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canadian Criminal Code

Copyright Act

ATA Code of Professional Conduct

Administrative Procedure 492 - Adult Interaction with Students

 

Approved: August 21, 2018

Updated July 2019