Schools adopt media policy

The School Committee’s recent adoption of a social media policy was a “preemptive strike” designed to prevent incidents from occurring in the future, said committee Chairwoman Deborah Sovinee. “The main way people communicate today is through social media,” said Sovinee. “We have to respond to new technology.” The policy describes what is appropriate for electronic communication between students and staff, teachers, or coaches, and prohibits faculty, staff, coaches and volunteers from engaging in improper fraternization with students via e-mail, social media sites, or by cellphone, texting, or telephone. The policy prohibits faculty, staff, and coaches from “friending” current students on Facebook, or “following” current students on Twitter, and bars faculty, staff, advisers, and coaches from responding to social media invitations from currently enrolled students. Electronic contact with students must be through the district’s computer and telephone systems, except for emergencies. Sovinee said the policy is “on the road” to full implementation.