Regulation 9052: Social Media Regulation

Electronic Communication

  1. As stated in policy 9052, all communication between District staff, students and parents must be done using District email accounts and/or District approved platforms.

Social Media

  1. Professional Social Media Use

    1. District employees should treat professional social media space and communication like a classroom and/or a professional workplace. If a particular type of behavior is inappropriate in the classroom or a professional workplace, then that behavior is also inappropriate on the professional social media site.
    2. District employees should exercise caution, sound judgment, and common sense when using professional social media sites.
    3. When establishing professional social media sites, supervisors and employees should consider the intended audience for the site and consider the level of privacy assigned to the site, specifically, whether the site should be a private network (for example, it is limited to a particular class or particular grade with in a school) or a public network (for example, anyone within the school, a larger group within the District community can participate or individuals outside of the District). It is recommended practice for professional social media sites to be private networks, unless there is a specific educational need for the site to be a public network.
    4. To the extent possible, based on the social media site being used, principals or their designees should be given separate administrator rights providing limited access to the professional social media accounts established by District employees.
    5. District employees must obtain their supervisor's approval using a District registration form.
    6. Supervisors and their designees are responsible for maintaining a list of all professional social media accounts within their particular school.
    7. Professional District social media sites must include language identifying the sites as professional social media District sites to differentiate from personal sites. For example, the professional sites can identify the District school, department, or particular grade that is utilizing the site.
    8. District employees must use privacy settings to control access to their professional social media sites with the objective that professional social media communications only reach the intended audience. However, District employees should be aware that there are limitations to privacy settings. Private communication published on the Internet can easily become public. Furthermore, social media sites can change their current default privacy settings and other functions. As a result, each employee has a responsibility to understand the rules of the social media site being utilized.
    9. Professional social media communication must be in compliance with existing District Regulations, District policies and applicable laws, including, but not limited to, prohibitions on the disclosure of confidential information and prohibitions on the use of harassing, obscene, discriminatory, defamatory or threatening language.
    10. No personally identifiable student information, as defined by the District may be posted by District employees on professional social media sites that are open beyond the classroom, which may include, for example, a "buddy" class in another country. If images of students are to be posted online - refer to Web Publishing policy
    11. District students who participate in professional social media sites may not be permitted to post photographs or videos featuring other students without the approval of the teacher.

    Monitoring of Professional Social Media Sites

    1. District supervisors, or their designees, are responsible for monitoring and providing feedback regarding their employees' professional social media sites. The monitoring responsibilities include reviewing the professional social media sites on a regular basis. If supervisors discover questionable communications or behavior on professional social media sites, they are required to contact the appropriate authorities for assistance. If District employees are notified about questionable material on their site, they must contact their supervisor.
    2. The District reserves the right to remove postings and/or disable a page of professional social media sites that do not adhere to the law or District Regulations or do not align with this policy.
    3. To assist in monitoring, as a recommended practice to the extent possible, the District employee should examine the default settings for comments on professional social media sites and in general use more restrictive custom settings. The District employee creating the site should intentionally move to more public settings as dictated by need. If the default setting for comments is turned on, allowing any user to post a comment without review, the comments on the site should be monitored regularly.
    4. Employees using professional social media have no expectation of privacy with regard to their use of such media. District supervisors, or their designees, will regularly monitor professional social media sites to protect the school community.
    5. District supervisors should maintain a record of all reported non-compliant communications as well as any violations that are otherwise brought to the supervisor's attention. Such reports of non-compliant communications should be immediately shared with the District employee so that the District employee may take corrective action, if necessary and if possible.
  2. Personal Social Media Use

    1. Communication with District Students

      In order to maintain a professional and appropriate relationship with students, District employees should not communicate with students who are currently enrolled in District schools on personal social media sites. This rule does not apply to a staff member's child or other relatives.

    2. Guidance Regarding Personal Social Media Sites

      District employees should exercise caution and common sense when using personal social media sites:

      1. As a recommended practice, District employees are encouraged to use appropriate privacy settings to control access to their personal social media sites. However, be aware that there are limitations to privacy settings. Private communication published on the Internet can easily become public. Furthermore, social media sites can change their current default privacy settings and other functions. As a result, employees are responsible for understanding the rules of the social media site being utilized.
      2. Personal social media use, including off-hours use, has the potential to result in disruption at school and/or the workplace, and can be in violation of District policies, District Regulations and law.
      3. The posting or disclosure of personally identifiable student information or confidential information via personal social media sites is prohibited.
      4. District employees should not use the District's logo or make representations that their personal social media sites speak in an official capacity. Use of the District logo that is automatically populated on personal social media sites, such as LinkedIn, is permitted.
      5. Notwithstanding the guidelines above, postings by a District employee may be protected activity under applicable labor laws and collective bargaining agreements.
  3. Applicability of District Policies and Other Laws

    1. This regulation is intended to supplement, not supersede, existing District policies, Regulations and laws. Users of electronic communication and social media sites must comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, including, but not limited to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) (, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). (, and intellectual property laws.
    2. All existing District policies, regulations and laws that cover employee conduct may be applicable in this environment. These include, but are not limited to, District Regulations, the Conflicts of Interest Law, the Acceptable Use Policy for Faculty and Staff (Policy #9051), and Section 3020-a of the Education Law.
  4. Additional Inquiries

    This regulation does not cover every potential electronic communication and/or social media situation. Should any questions arise, please consult the District Director of Technology. As this regulation addresses rapidly changing technology, the District will revisit this regulation and will update it as needed.

Administrative Regulation

Approved by Interim Superintendent of Schools: June 14, 2017