Before approving the policy, though, board members decided to loosen some of its guidelines when it comes to communicating with students. Under the original proposal, any such communication would have to be done through a group texting app, unless a student’s parent or guardian gave written permission for other communication methods.
Superintendent Dan Foster said that provision drew concerns from at least one teacher. “Sometimes, in this cruel world, being able to confide in a teacher may be the only person that student has,” Foster explained, “and so if we make them fill out a form that’s signed by their parent, are we counterproductive of that? So with that in mind, I kind of sat down the other day, and the second page of the policy, I kind of came up with an Option B, sort of.”
That option allows other forms of communication between staff members and students, but limits it to the “pertinent matter at hand.” “You know, I’ve tried to put a little language in there that would protect all of us, but, bottom line, when push comes to shove, use common sense, and don’t get into the personal things,” Foster said. “Obviously, I put in there if it’s a reportable, by law, they’re required to report it, and they must report it.”
The Eastern Pulaski School Board unanimously approved the social media policy, with that option. Other policy provisions require any references to Eastern Pulaski Schools to be made in a professional manner. Employees are asked to avoid making derogatory statements about the school corporation or its employees on social media. A similar policy was approved by the West Central School Board last week.