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Posting Pictures on Social Media and Web Pages
Image for Posting Pictures on Social Media and Web Pages

Social/Digital Media was recently brought up in our leadership meetings and it was recommended that I send something out to remind everyone of our need to protect our students and their privacy and for us to think before we post…

Be aware that information posted online may be perceived differently depending on the viewer, despite intended effect or outcome.

As the holidays approach, I would just like to take a moment to remind everyone there are some common sense things which you can do in your school to make sure that photos are being used safely.  Any pictures that are published should try to focus on group activities, rather than photos of an individual. Indeed, group photos should always be preferred over full face pictures of individual children/students.  We hate to think of our kids' schools as being anything other than a safe zone, but the reality is, it's a scary world out there. If you share photos of your students in the classroom or on school grounds, make sure that the name and/or features that distinguish its location are kept hidden.  It is preferred that names are not listed either.  Everyone has their own positions on sharing their children's faces on social media, so before you go posting and tagging away after a celebration or field trip, be sure to respect the stances of the other families involved.

No longer do you have to bring a roll of film to a developer and wait for your pictures to be printed.  While the development of digital imaging has undoubtedly created massive benefits for learning, there are also some risks that you need to be aware of.  Sharing and posting digital images to the Internet, whether that be the school’s website or social networking, mean that the pictures may remain available online forever.  While you may want to celebrate class achievements or your students’ work, or just have a moment of fun, there are issues which you need to remember and that is why it’s important that we implement procedures in this area.  Despite the educational intent, images may inadvertently cause embarrassment for someone in the short or long term.  Indeed, while the chances are relatively remote, future employers may carry out Internet searches and come across images a prospective employee would rather they did not. 

Current Acceptable Use Agreement states: “Social Networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) –The Board is aware that social media web sites have become increasingly popular, not only among students, but among adults as well. While these sites have the potential to offer both social and professional benefits, they have an equal potential to cause disruption to the school environment.  Employees should be mindful that the information posted on these sites is public and can be accessed and shared by others. For this reason, employees should refrain from posting statements or material that reflects poorly on this school system or the employee's character. To do so will only hurt the employee's credibility and effectiveness with parents, students, and coworkers.”

We are requesting that from this day forward (November 10, 2015) that you post only pictures from your schools/classrooms/school related activities off campus that are group shots – not individual photos.  We would greatly appreciate you taking a moment to go through your current social media sites and if you have posted pictures of individual students from your schools/classrooms to please remove them.  This is for the student’s protection and for your protection.  

Thank you - Social media is part of our digital footprint… Think before you Post…