The Lafayette Parish School District is asking for stricter policies when it comes to their teachers using social media.
The policies will be released as an information item at Wednesday’s meeting
“It’s a policy that staff has been working on for a year and a half,” LPSS’s Chief Administrative Officer Joe Craig said.
That policy would make stricter guidelines for teachers on social media. Craig says in the past, they’ve had issues.
“There are certain situations that come up that when you look at them, it’s not appropriate or professional, but you don’t necessarily have a policy that addresses it. ”
According to the guidelines, teachers and other employees with the school district won’t be able to follow or add students as friends online.
They also won’t be able to share the students’ information or pictures online, and if they get caught, they could get fired.
“It’s important that they remain professional,” Craig said. “It’s important that they do not disclose any private information about peers, students or confidential information related to a school situation.”
This will go for pages that are public, but also private pages if the post is shared with school officials.
The content would be sent to human resources, the director of schools, and superintendent to evaluate if the post is inappropriate.
Another portion of the plan addresses posting about alcohol and cigarette use.
Craig says although this is legal, the posts could be deemed inappropriate if the school officials consider the use extreme.
The board will consider the rules for adoption at their December meeting.
“Keep in mind that teachers have a first amendment’s right to free speech, but districts also have a responsibility and confidentiality of the safety of students, ” Craig said.
Also in the guidelines are teachers’ comments and posts online about the school system, students or employees.
Johnathan Cole with the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators says they’re working with the superintendent and staff to review the policies.
The teachers want to make sure they have their freedom of speech when it comes to work concerns they share online.