A school district in Colorado Springs is making social media transparent.
Academy School District 20 has made new rules to make wireless interactions between students and teachers, over the Internet, seen by anybody.
Staff members are not allowed to use their personal social media page to 'friend' students.
The only way they can interact with students is by creating a professional page that has educational discussion.
“They should use social media as a powerful education tool,” said Nanette Anderson, who is a spokesperson for District 20.
She said staff members use to be blocked from social media sites.
Staff members encouraged District 20 that social media can be used for education purposes, and with the new policies, they can use social media sites at school.
Anderson said creating a professional page will make it viewable for anyone to see.
Staff members also can’t email, text message or instant message students.
This comes on the heels of several high profile Southern Colorado cases in which teachers were involved in inappropriate relationships with students, but District 20 said the policy didn’t stem from any incident.
Sue Garcia has a child who goes to a District 20 school.
She said she likes the new policy because the Internet is the way people communicate now.
“It’s keeping up with the times using the tools we have today,” Garcia said.
Renee Lyons is a parent of a District 20 student. She feels the old fashion way of face-to-face conversation between parent and teacher is better.
“I don’t see why teachers would need access to children outside the classroom, if they do it would seem like they could contact the parents,” Lyons said.
Anderson is hoping, if the new rules are violated, that teachers, parents and students can bring it to the district’s attention.
District 60 in Pueblo said their policy toward social media is staff may not communicate with students through personal social media platforms or by texting without prior authorization from an appropriate administrator.
District 11 in Colorado Springs states in their social media policy that employees are personally responsible for the content they publish online. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time through digital footprints. Make sure to protect your privacy.