INTERNET, ELECTRONIC DEVICE, AND SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE POLICY FOR STAFF (Adopted 8/18/14, Revised 2/2/15)

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1 INTERNET, ELECTRONIC DEVICE, AND SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE POLICY FOR STAFF (Adopted 8/18/14, Revised 2/2/15) The Stoughton Area School District is committed to the appropriate use of the Internet and electronic devices to provide communications within the learning community, support delivery of curriculum, provide challenging learning opportunities for students, and conduct District business. The District recognizes the importance of online social media as a tool for teaching and communication. The use of social media by staff are a viable means to involve colleagues, parents, students, community partners, volunteers, and other stakeholders in academic dialogue, and to further the goals of the District in improving instruction and communication. Therefore, the District is committed to supporting the use of social media in a lawful, responsible, civil, ethical, and appropriate manner. The availability of networked information does not constitute the District s endorsement of its content. Exploration of and interactions with resources are encouraged. However, it is impossible to control all the materials on a global network and an industrious user may discover inappropriate information. The District cannot prevent the possibility that some users may access material that is not consistent with the educational mission, goals, and policies of the district. The Stoughton Area School District expects all individuals using devices connected to the District s network to abide by all District policies and building rules. Individuals who bring their own devices for use at the District do so at their own risk. As new and emerging technologies are adopted, individuals are expected to apply established rights and responsibilities to those new technologies Internet and Electronic Usage A. Privacy: The District expects that all users will use technology resources in a responsible and ethical manner. The use of technology at school or on District property is a privilege, not a right and can be limited or revoked if misused. Further, the use of technology at school is not private and shall be viewed and monitored in accordance with State law. The District reserves the right to monitor, access, and disclose messages, communications, or content contained, stored, or transmitted using devices supplied by or paid for in whole or in part by the District and through accounts or services provided by the District, obtained by the District due to the staff member s employment, or used for the District s business. All such messages, communications, or content can be reviewed by the District for any purpose, at any time, and may occur with or without consent. B. User Responsibilities: It shall be the responsibility of all District staff to educate, supervise and monitor appropriate use of electronic devices and access to the Internet in accordance with this Policy. If users witness or actively view a message, file, or site which contains inappropriate material, it shall be reported to their respective supervisor or administrator. Digital citizenship will be promoted by District staff to educate students on appropriate use of technology in regards to device usage and online behavior including, but not limited to: 1. Social networking websites and cyber-bullying awareness and response;

2 2. Identifying and evaluating appropriate electronic sources; 3. Proper behavior when using , texting, and other forms of direct electronic communication; and 4. Understanding copyright, ethical practice, and data privacy. District employees are responsible for the online content they access and/or publish. The following standards will apply to all users (staff, students, and District approved affiliates) of the network/internet: 1. The user in whose name a system account is issued will be responsible at all times for its proper use. Users may not access another person s account without written permission from an administrator or immediate supervisor. 2. The system may not be used for illegal purposes, in support of illegal activities, or for any other activity prohibited by District policy. 3. Users may not redistribute copyrighted programs or data without the written permission of the copyright holder or designee. Such permission must be specified in the document or must be obtained directly from the copyright holder or designee in accordance with applicable copyright laws, District policy, and administrative regulations. 4. Users will not use the system, including personally owned computers or devices with the system, to access or view material that is profane or obscene (i.e., pornography), that advocates illegal acts, or that advocates violence or discrimination towards other people. If a user inadvertently accesses or views such information, the user shall immediately disclose the inadvertent access to a supervisor or administrator. If a user receives inappropriate material by from a familiar address, the user should notify the sender that such material is forbidden and should delete the material. If the sender continues to send such material, the user should notify a supervisor or administrator. C. Filtering: In compliance with the Children s Internet Protection Act ( CIPA ), all internet access provided by the district shall be filtered in an effort to prevent access to content that is: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors. However, on a global network, it is impossible to control all materials available and a user may discover unacceptable information. The use of a filter does not diminish the user s responsibility to use the internet in compliance with the standards in this policy. D. Unacceptable Uses: Examples of unacceptable use include, but are not limited to: 1. Transmitting jokes or other comments that may be discriminatory, harassing, or offensive to others. 2. Downloading, displaying, publishing, accessing, printing, sharing, or transmitting any images, messages, or materials which are pornographic, obscene, sexually explicit or other content that is disruptive to the educational environment or process. 3. Damaging any component of the District s hardware or software. 4. Use of another person s account/address/password. 5. Use to perform acts of bullying or cyberbullying. 6. Use which is illegal, including the violation of copyright, gambling and pornography laws. 7. Use for political or advocacy purposes.

3 8. Use to engage in practices that threaten the network (e.g., willfully introducing a virus). 9. Use for business or commercial purposes that are not specifically authorized by the District. 10. Disclosing the personal information of students, staff or others without authorization. 11. Accessing another user s account without written permission from a supervisor or administrator. 12. Knowingly violating any local, State or Federal statute. 13. Publishing, posting, displaying, or sending comments about students, staff, administration, Board members, or any other official of the District, or the District as an entity that are unlawful, vulgar, obscene, threatening, intimidating, harassing, or a violation of the District s policies against discrimination, harassment, hostility, or bullying on account of age, race, religion, sex, ethnicity, nationality, disability, or any other protected class, status or characteristic. In addition, the District prohibits discrimination on the basis of transgender status including gender expression gender identity and gender non-conformity. E. Non-District-Provided Technology: Staff are permitted to bring their own electronic communication devices for use subject to the following: 1. Non-district-provided technology is not managed or supported by the District. Staff are solely responsible for any personal device they bring on District property. 2. Users of non-district provided technology, when on district property or engaged in school related activities are expected to adhere to the standards in Section C, regardless of the network they are connected to, including non-district networks Social Media A. Definition: For purposes of Board Policy , social media includes but is not limited to any application or online tool used for sharing or publishing online information such as blogs, personal websites, RSS feeds, wikis, message boards, listservs, text messaging, and social networking sites. B. Scope of Rule: This Policy is intended to cover staff use of social media for professional and personal use. The Board recognizes that social media may be used as an educational learning and communication tool. The Board also recognizes that staff may wish to use social media at school while not working. The Board permits occasional non-work related use of social media at school so long as such use does not interfere with an employee s responsibilities or productivity. All staff use of social media for any purpose must conform to this policy, as well as all other Board policies. When using social media, staff must observe the following rules and procedures: 1. This policy is not intended to preclude or dissuade staff from engaging in activities protected by State or Federal law. 2. Postings representing the District. Unless given written permission from the District Administrator or his/her designee, staff may not produce content on any social media site that states or implies that the employee's opinions are endorsed by or reflect the opinions of the Board, the District,

4 any official of the District or any official entity of the District. When the Board or any official or entity of the District is the subject of the social media content, staff should make clear they are expressing only their own personal opinions, using a disclaimer such as, "The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Board of Education of the Stoughton Area School District or any official or entity of the District." 3. Confidential information. a. Staff shall not disclose confidential student information or pupil records in violation of state or federal law. This includes pictures, videos or postings of student work. The release or publication of any student information or images is limited to what has been approved in writing by the student s parent/guardian. b. Staff shall not use social media to disclose any confidential District information regarding District staff, including employment records, personally identifiable information, address, , or telephone number. Staff shall respect the privacy rights of the District's staff by seeking their permission before writing about or displaying internal District happenings that might be considered to be a breach of their privacy or confidentiality. 4. Postings for Professional Use. a. The District authorizes the use of social media applications for educational purposes and in conjunction with school-related activities. Social media for school-related activities shall be used subject to the following rules: i. Staff comments, posts or other content must be professional in nature, age appropriate, and in compliance with all Board policies; ii. Staff online behavior should reflect the same standards of honesty, respect, responsibility and consideration that are required in school-related direct contact communication; and iii. The Board may block or remove any user and may block or remove any content from school-related social media groups that does not comply with Board policies. b. The Board authorizes the creation of school-sanctioned social media groups for bona fide school-related purposes. These groups shall be created and used pursuant to the following rules: i. All school-sanctioned social media groups shall be pre-approved by the school Principal, or designee; ii. Staff using school-sanctioned social media groups shall verify there is not an opt-out form (directory withholding form) on record for students participating in social media groups and shall offer parent/guardian general access to the social media site. Staff shall not use school-sanctioned social media to communicate improper or inappropriate messages with or about District students;

5 iii. When participating in a school-sanctioned social media group, staff shall use only their own name, not a pseudonym, and must identify the District as their employer; iv. All correspondence between staff and students via a school-sanctioned social media group shall be related to course work or school-sanctioned activities; and v. Staff participating in school-sanctioned social media groups shall adhere to all ethical standards for staff. 5. Other General Rules of Posting for Professional and Personal Use. a. Staff shall not use social media sites to post or display comments about students, staff, administrators, Board members or other officials of the District, or the District as an entity that are unlawful, vulgar, obscene, threatening, intimidating, harassing, or a violation of the District s policies against discrimination, harassment, hostility or bullying on account of age, race, religion, sex, ethnicity, nationality, disability, or any other protected class, status or characteristic. b. Staff participating in social media activities shall respect copyright laws, not only with respect to the content produced on the social media sites, but also with respect to the software that enables it. c. Staff shall be personally responsible for the content they publish on their social media sites. d. Employees should carefully consider whether to friend or otherwise communicate with students enrolled in the District through personal social networking applications. All employees are expected to maintain appropriate boundaries with District students. 6. Monitoring of Social Media: If staff engages in social media use on their own time, outside of work, the District generally will not regulate such conduct. However, the District may monitor and regulate social media use in accordance with State law and the following provisions: a. The District may require account access to an account or service provided by the District, obtained by the District due to a staff member s employment or which is used for the District s business. b. The District may discipline or discharge a staff member for transferring the District s confidential or financial information to a staff member s personal Internet account without the District s authorization. c. The District may require a staff member to grant access to or allow observation of the staff member s personal Internet account if there is a reasonable belief that the staff member has transferred confidential or financial information without authorization to the staff member s personal Internet account or has engaged in another work-related violation or misconduct, if there is a reasonable belief that activity on the staff member s personal Internet account relates to that misconduct or violation. d. The District may comply with a duty to screen applicants for employment prior to hiring and may comply with a duty to retain staff communications as established under State or Federal law, rules or regulations.

6 7. Violations of this or other related Board policies may result in appropriate action by the Board, including the following: a. Restriction or revocation of District equipment use; b. Conference with an administrator; c. Disciplinary action up to and including termination; d. Notification of law enforcement or other agencies; Cross Reference: Board Members Use of Telecommunications Harassment and Related Forms of Misconduct Bullying Internet and Electronic Device Usage and Social Media Policy for Students Technology Concerns for Students with Special Needs Search of Students and of their Property Control and Search of Lockers, Buildings, and Grounds Locker Room/Designated Dressing Area/Restroom Privacy Special Education Administrative Guidelines Personnel Policy Handbook Legal Reference: Sections Wis. Stat Wis. Stat Wis. Stat (2) Wis. Stat Wis. Stat Children s Internet Protection Act ( CIPA )

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