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District social media warns against teacher-student relationships



— “For everyone’s protection, teachers should not call or text students,” Mountain View School District 244 Superintendent Kent Stokes said at the September school board meeting at Clearwater Valley High School. “As far as Facebook goes, I’ve recommended students and teachers not be friends.”

The “Social Media 424” policy was reviewed by the board of trustees at that meeting.

The policy lists “recommended practices for using social media sites,” which includes the sections Think Before Posting, Be Respectful, Remember Your Audience, Contact with Students and Keep Personal and Professional Lines Separate.

“How do you anticipate getting the word out [to teachers, staff] on this policy?” asked CV teacher and Idaho Education Association President Char McKinney of Clearwater.

Stokes said the policy would be e-mailed to teachers and staff to ask them to review it and principals will also be asked to discuss it with their building teachers and staff.

Policy

The policy includes the following:

  • Pursuant to the Code of Ethics for Idaho Professional Educators, individuals shall maintain a professional relationship with students, both inside and outside of the classroom. In order to avoid the appearance of partiality or impropriety, all electronic communications with students should be through the official district e-mail or your work phone. Do not list current students as friends on social media sites, do not give students your personal e-mail address or phone number and do not text students.
  • Staff members will not use their district e-mail address for personal social media activities. Such uses will be considered a violation of district policy and may result in disciplinary action. The district reserves the right to monitor communications transmitted and received through the district network. This may include social media and updates sent to a district e-mail account.

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The full policy can be viewed at the district office. The second reading on the policy took place at the Oct. 17 board meeting in Grangeville. The third reading will be held at the November meeting and then subsequently voted on by the board.



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