Kamloops School District working on social media guidelines for parents - InfoNews

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Kamloops School District working on social media guidelines for parents

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November 21, 2016 - 6:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - Mom and dad may want to watch what they write about teachers online.

The Kamloops-Thompson School District is working on guidelines for parents using social media to discuss their children’s schooling. Assistant Supt. Rob Schoen says teachers are employees of the district and have the right to a harassment free work environment.

While there was no single incident that caused the district to start creating the guidelines, Schoen says there have been issues, particular on Facebook, that show it’s a necessary step.

“We want social media to be used for good, not as a channel to complain,” he says. “When parents have an issue they often turn to social media to voice concerns.”

Additionally, some posts to social media can breach a child’s right to privacy, he says.

Schoen says he hopes it will encourage people to choose different, more respectful and useful ways to direct concerns. In particular, he suggests complaints and concerns be taken to principals and not the internet.

“It’s been an issue on and off since there’s been social media,” he says. “Ultimately, there’s a better way than positing about it online.”

Strict enforcement won’t be possible but the policy will govern posts on social media pages run by the school district or Parent Advisory Councils. 

“We’re in the business of education,” he says. “We don’t have staff dedicated to monitoring social media.”

Schoen says the hope is there will be a ripple effect into parent’s social media postings. Staff and students already have policy covering their own social media presence.

Currently the district is researching the subject and how it should work. Plans are for the policy to go the board in January.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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