A Word From the Legal Team on Social Media Posts …

“It’s the internet, don’t think you can post anything anonymously!”

Employees may mistakenly believe that the First Amendment protects their right to post anything they want on social networking sites. Unfortunately, school employees have limited free speech rights — employee speech is not entitled to First Amendment protection.

Save these tips and share them with colleagues. Keep you and your job safe!

15 Tips from MSEA’s Legal Team

  1. Set strict privacy settings so that only your friends can see your photos and posts.

2. Be cautious about those you accept or invite as friends on social networks.

3. Do not friend or share posts with students or their parents.

4. Limit the amount of personal information you share.

5. Create a separate account if you are using social media for educational purposes or classroom lessons.

6. Keep your professional and personal lives separate.

7. Do not post on personal networking sites during work hours.

8. Do not use a school computer to post. Rules may be more restrictive when educators are using district-issued computers or the post is transmitted using the district’s server. Even posts made on privately-owned devices like your smartphones using the school’s wi-fi connection can be traced.

Six Ways to Avoid Those Social Media Landmines
I’ve been sharing on social media professionally for eight years now, and I have to admit, it can be kinda tricky…neatoday.org

9. Don’t post negative or offensive comments about your job, your administrator, your school, or your students or their families.

10. Check your social media profile and delete any inappropriate or questionable images, status updates, or communication dealing with alcohol, explicit sexual matters, violence, or vulgar language.

11. Do not send confidential information through social networks.

12. Always be skeptical and cautious.

13. Only post information that you are comfortable with anyone seeing.

14. Do not post anything that could be considered harassing, discriminatory, or malicious.

15. Respect copyright and other intellectual property laws.