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DRAFT 200.4 Board Member Social Media Engagement

The board sees the value in promoting the excellent work and accomplishments of the district’s students and staff. Social media is one of many effective communication tools that the district may utilize. Board members have been publicly elected to govern the district and accept a fiduciary responsibility. That responsibility means board members agree to always act in the best interests of the district. For this reason, the board shall expect that individual communications and social media posts made by board members will reflect the values and decorum expected of elected officials in the school community.

All board members enjoy rights to freedom of speech under both the U.S. and Iowa Constitutions. As such, the district will not limit protected speech of any board members. Certain categories of speech are not protected and may be subject to regulation. Additionally, board members should be aware that protected speech can still subject individuals to legal liability. If using social media to discuss district related matters, board members should be aware that they may be prohibited from blocking individual communications and posters based upon the content of their posts. Only the Board President is designated as official spokesperson authorized to speak on behalf of the board. Any postings by Board Members about district related matter on their individual social media accounts shall not be considered official action of the district. Official statements of the district shall be made only on district social media accounts through the designated spokesperson of the district or the entire board speaking as a governing body.

The board as a whole and individual board members in their governance role have legal obligations to safeguard the privacy of information related to student and employee matters. Board members will refrain from posting or communicating on social media in a way that violates the district’s obligation to protect the privacy of its students and employees.

Board members are uniquely positioned in the school community to be both accessible and responsive to community concerns about the effective governance of the district. As a result, the board will remember their obligations to safeguard student and employee privacy when responding to any social media posts or communications, even if the response is intended to correct information for the rest of the school community. Board members will direct concerned individuals to the appropriate district staff to address their inquiry or complaint in accordance with board policy.

 

 

Approved: 06/26/2023                   Reviewed:                  Revised