Website & Social Media Policy

Introduction

This document formalizes the policy for the professional and personal use of websites and social media by Braintree Public Schools’ (BPS) employees in a responsible manner.  All users are covered by this policy and are expected to be familiar with its provisions. The users covered by this policy include:

  • Administrators
  • Organizations
  • Staff
  • Students
  • Teachers

For purposes of this policy, “Official Social Media” is understood to be content created by individuals or groups representing Braintree Public Schools, using accessible, expandable, and upgradable publishing technologies, through and on the Internet. 

Social Media Examples

Examples of Official Social Media include but are not limited to:

  • Blogs
  • Instagram
  • Class websites
  • Club websites
  • District websites
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • NextDoor
  • Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) websites
  • School websites
  • Snapchat
  • Team websites
  • Twitter
  • YouTube videos/channels

For the purposes of this policy, “Personal Social Media” is understood to be content created by individuals for non-work related activities (e.g., a staff member establishing a Facebook page or a Twitter account for his or her own personal use). District employees should not use personal social media sites to communicate with students.

For purposes of this policy, “Content” includes:

  • Articles
  • Comments
  • Information
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Any other form of communicative content posted on official or personal social media sites

Guidelines

This policy is in compliance with state and federal telecommunications rules and regulations, including:

  • Children's Internet Protection Act
  • Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
  • Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act Amendment
  • Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment

Acknowledgments: Sections of this document were adapted from:

  • Federal laws
  • Gill-Montague Regional Schools
  • NYC Department of Education
  • Pembroke Public Schools
  • Town of Braintree

Adopted by School Committee on April 9, 2018.

  1. User Responsibilities
  2. Site & Account Requirements
  3. Privacy Protections in Media
  4. No Expectation of Privacy
  5. Violations
  6. Disclaimers
  7. Staff Personal Social Media
  8. Student Personal Social Media

Official Braintree Public School (BPS) social media sites will be used solely for communicating information about the Schools, including projects, events, and services.

Examples include:

  • Announcements
  • Club events and activities
  • Emergency notifications
  • Fundraising events
  • Meetings
  • Newsletters
  • Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)
  • Sporting events

School employees and representatives with website access through organizations such as PTO or Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) may not engage in private messaging over official social media accounts.

What Social Media Cannot Be Used For

  • Political information or viewpoints
  • Religious information or viewpoints
  • Commercial information
  • Information pertaining to an employee's or school representative's personal activities, matters, or interests
  • Information which consists of content which is sexual, pornographic, or adult in character
  • Information which advocates or promotes the use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco

Social Media Administrator Responsibilities

Official Social Media sites for individual schools and PTOs shall be administered and monitored by principals and their site administrators approved by the principal and Superintendent or designee. Usernames for these accounts shall be created using official school email addresses and shall be maintained through the Technology Department.

Official social media sites for classes, other student groups, clubs, and athletic teams shall be administered and monitored by:

  • The Athletic Director
  • Club advisors
  • Coaches
  • Principals or their designees
  • Site administrators approved by the principal and Superintendent or designee

Usernames for these accounts shall be created using official school email addresses and shall be maintained through the Technology Department.

Site Monitoring

Each administrator of an official social media site will confirm with the appropriate principal and/or director that they have read and understood this policy. It is the responsibility of each principal and director to provide a copy of this policy to their respective users. Principals, their designees, and site administrators shall monitor official BPS social media sites for content requesting responses from the Schools. Site administrators may direct such requests to the principal or director for a response.

Site administrators shall monitor content posted on official BPS social media sites for content in violation of this Social Media Policy. If a site administrator has reason to believe that any user is misusing the site, it is the responsibility of the administrator to report that potential misuse of the site to district administrators.

Social Media Educator Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of educators who are using official BPS social media tools with students to teach students about safe and responsible use of social media (see also BPS Network and Technology Responsible Use Policy and Internet Safety Policy). Educators are responsible for monitoring students' use of these resources and must intervene if students are using them inappropriately. Educators should make sure that students understand and abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses. It is also the responsibility of the teacher to report any misuse of the official BPS social media to his/her building administrator.

Each administrator of an official social media site will confirm with the appropriate principal and/or director that they have read and understood this policy.

Social Media Student Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of students who are using official BPS social media tools to learn about safe and responsible use of these sites. They are responsible for using these resources appropriately. They must abide by the Acceptable and Unacceptable Uses as stated in Section 9, Part C of this policy. If a student misuses the resources, educators must follow appropriate disciplinary protocols, including but not limited to reporting the misuse to building administrators, who have the right to discontinue a student's access to the official social media.