Social Media Guidelines & Acceptable Use Policy

SOCIAL MEDIA GUIDELINES & ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY (“A.U.P.”)

1. INTRODUCTION
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Instagram are now part of everyday communication and information sharing. Messages and visual images can be seen immediately by others using the internet on desktop computers, laptops, mobiles, tablets, notebook computers, smartphones and similar devices.
These guidelines and A.U.P. have been developed to assist employees of BOM of St Mel’s College (hereinafter referred to as “the School”) in making ethical, respectful and acceptable decisions about their online interactions in both a professional and personal capacity and to provide clear direction on the importance of protecting the reputation and confidential information of the School.
The guidelines and A.U.P. are not intended to prevent employees from engaging in social media in their personal lives but are intended to give effect to agreed professional protocols as prescribed by the Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers (Teaching Council, June 2012) which provides that teachers should:-
“ensure that any communication with pupils/students, colleagues, parents, school management and others is appropriate, including communication via electronic media, such as email, texting and social networking sites.”
and
“ensure that they do not knowingly access, download or otherwise have in their possession while engaged in school activities, inappropriate materials/images in electronic or other format.”
Given the ever developing and changing nature of social media and the internet the within guidelines and policy will be reviewed and adapted as required.
This policy should be read in conjunction with other staff policies, including but not limited to the IT, Dignity at Work and Disciplinary policies.
1 SOCIAL MEDIA USE IN THE COURSE OF EMPLOYMENT ON A SOCIAL MEDIA SITE RELATING TO THE SCHOOL OR WHICH IDENTIFIES YOU AS AN EMPLOYEE OF THE SCHOOL

(i) Seek permission: Employees should seek permission from the Principal before setting up / registering in the School’s name on social media sites, user groups, special interest
forums and bulletin boards and/or using social media for teaching and learning purposes.
(ii) Ownership: All ownership rights arising from a sanctioned social media account in the name of the School are vested in the School.
(iii) Responsibility: A permitted employee is responsible for his/her social media activity and posting and for compliance with the terms and conditions of the relevant social media platform.
(iv) Confidential information: Please respect and maintain confidential information regarding the School, its students, employees and other School contacts. Do not divulge or discuss proprietary information, internal documents and / or personal data of others or other confidential material on social media sites.
(v) Reputation: Any postings by an employee that are defamatory or damage the School’s reputation on a school related social media or other account will be addressed pursuant to the School’s disciplinary procedure.

2. PERSONAL USE AT WORK RELATNG TO PRIVATE AND/OR WORK RELATED MATTERS
(i) Boundaries: Personal profiles are not to be used to conduct school business or to communicate with students/parents. Online interaction with management, other employees and/or school contacts should be appropriate and professional in nature. Do not use your official School e-mail address when participating in social media that is not related to your job. Use of social media for private matters, i.e. not for work purposes, is restricted to break times at work.
(ii) Identify yourself: You should make clear who you are and that your postings do not represent the School, its ethos, position, opinions or views. You should make it clear that you are posting in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the School.
(iii) Be responsible and respectful: You are personally responsible for your posts and actions on social media. You should exercise sound judgement, common sense and respect when participating in online social media. You should not use insulting, offensive or disparaging language. If in doubt, don’t publish or post anything. If you have been insulted or inappropriately treated, do not engage in an online dispute, rather you should report the matter to the Principal.
(iv) Respect privacy of others: Do not publish, post or upload personal data, including photographs, of third persons (including employees, students, parents and other members of the School community) without their permission.
(v) Unacceptable use: Do not create, publish, download or post material/content that might be defamatory, inappropriate, discriminatory, offensive, pornographic, damaging to the School’s reputation or refer to a third person without their permission. Uploading, forwarding or linking to the aforementioned content is also unacceptable. Never reveal sensitive details whether relating to the School, its employees, students, parents and other members of the School community on social media sites.
(vi) Confidential information: Do not divulge, publish or discuss proprietary information, internal documents and / or personal data of others or other confidential information pertaining to the School on social media sites.
(vii) Reputation: Any postings by an employee that are defamatory or damage the School’s reputation will be addressed pursuant to the School’s disciplinary procedure.

3. ENFORCEMENT
A reported or suspected breach of this policy is a serious matter and will be investigated by School management pursuant to the appropriate workplace procedure. Employees who are found to have breached this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
The School reserves the right to monitor social media use on School computers, laptops, mobiles, tablets, notebook computers, smartphones and similar devices provided by the School.

This Policy was ratified by the Board of Management on March 5th 2018

Chairman of Board of Management Mr Conal Gibbons