RATED "R" SOCIAL MEDIA
Across the country school district policies are trying to catch up with the Social Media phenomenon. This is not just with regards to student usage but employee usage. More and more districts are grappling with employees, i.e. teachers, paraprofessionals, and principals who post things that are questionable in nature with regards to professionalism or appropriateness. These issues range from teacher-student contact on social media to teachers posting negative information about their students, supervisors, or another employee. I know what you are thinking...What about their First Amendment Rights? Do school districts have the right to regulate what an adult does on social media?
I understand the First Amendment and it is clear with regards to a person's right to free speech, but I guarantee you that our Founding Fathers never could have imagined what we are dealing with today in schools across the country. So, the next time you are about to post something on Social Media, make sure that it is RATED "R" before you post it. Ask yourself...
- Do I have the RIGHT to share this?
- Is this the RIGHT thing to do?
- Am I willing to take RESPONSIBILITY if this post goes viral or shared without my permission?
- Will I REGRET this tomorrow when I am not angry, upset, or in my feelings?
- Is the RISK worth the REWARD of 15 minutes of fame or shame that may come of this posting?
- Am I READY for the social, emotional, verbal, or legal battle that may occur after I post this?
You should probably take a breath consider venting in another manner. We've all been there before but just because it comes up to our brain, doesn't mean it must come out on the internet. In this profession, you will have good days and bad days, but remember whatever you put on the internet, trust me, someone else can take it and share it.
Supervisor of Personnel Management
East Baton Rouge Parish School System