Staff social media policy changes delayed at BCSC

Bartholomew Consolidated Schools have delayed approval of a new social media usage policy for the district staff.

The school board had been scheduled to consider the expanded policy for approval at this week’s meeting, but instead will be delaying the discussion to next month. Superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts explained that changes and clarifications are being made to the proposed policy unveiled last month.

Roberts explained that those changes are in response to concerns raised after the draft policy was unveiled last month:

Technology director Nick Williams and operations director Brett Bozeman are working on making the suggested changes.

Feedback came from teachers and other staff, Roberts said.

School officials last month said that the existing policies were out of date and inadequate for current social media use.

Roberts said that the policy update would discourage the use of school district logos, graphics and other materials on private social media accounts and suggests that staff members ensure that their own opinions are not mistaken as the schools’. The proposed policy would also regulate and prohibit staff members one-on-one private social media communications with students.

The changes are not meant to limit the staff’s First Amendment rights.

School board member Jeff Caldwell expressed concerns that he policy could be interpreted as punishment, instead of a way to guide social media usage. Board member Kathy Dayhoff-Dwyer said she was concerned that the limits on social media communications could hamper coaches’ efforts to provide guidance and instill discipline in student athletes.