Policy 6412


The Policy of the Board of Education is to provide access to evolving electronic communication and technology including social media to promote its acceptable uses as additional communications tools to improve the District operations and student learning, and to teach students to use its potential for communications, in a context that discourages uses that are unacceptable or incompatible with the Board's educational mission.

For purposes of this Policy, the definition of public social media networks or Social Networking Sites (SNS) are defined to include but not limited to: websites, Web logs (blogs), wikis, social networks, online forums, virtual worlds, video sites and any other social media generally available to the School District community which do not fall within the District's electronic technology network (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Instagram, SnapChat, YouTube, blog sites, etc.). The definition of District approved password-protected social media tools are those that fall within the District's electronic technology network or which the District has approved for educational use. Within these internal forums, the District has greater authority and ability to protect minors from inappropriate content and can limit public access.

Standards of Professional Conduct

Communication resources and devices, whether social media or traditional media, while of unquestionable value, are not without risk both personally and professionally. This policy is intended to support and provide protection for staff and students by identifying acceptable and non-acceptable uses of these evolving communications tools. This policy is not intended to limit or curtail students' or District employees' right to free speech, or employees' collective association or ability to engage in union activities. The District recommends keeping professional and personal accounts separate.

Employees' communications via social media and other media when a part of their job duties are not considered protected free speech. In addition, if a staff member identifies him/herself as an employee of the Spencerport Central School District when using personal social media sites, he/she has associated him/herself with the District, his/her colleagues and his/her school community. Like staff, students when in some positions also represent the District. In all of these circumstances in which they are associated with the District, the content of all their communications must comply with the District's policies and regulations and the same standards of professionalism, respect and integrity as traditional media and face-to-face communications.

The School District takes no position on an employee's decision to participate in the use of social media for personal use on personal time. However, personal use of social media should be avoided during the workday and should not interfere with work responsibilities. The use of personal social media accounts must comply with all applicable law and District policies and regulations (such as, for example, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (which prohibits disclosures of student records without prior consent), the Dignity for All students Act, and laws and policies regarding harassment, fraternization, etc.). Inappropriate use of social media may result in loss of access to the District Computer Systems and/or other disciplinary action.

Adopted: 2/12/19
Revised: 9/6/22

Policy 6412