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Social (media) connections

Local schools enact strict policies monitoring teacher, student communication

text-school

Area educators can use social media and text messaging in very limited situations such as a bus schedule change for a sports team, based on local school district policies. (EXAMINER PHOTO ILLUSTRATION | JOEL E. MAST)

Area teachers and coaches can let their fingers do the talking under very limited circumstances according to the electronic communication policies adopted by local school districts.

In a nutshell, if the subject matter doesn’t involve a school or educational function, don’t send it. Even when it does meet the strict criteria, the teacher or coach has to have administrative approval.

“If a coach or teacher wants to communicate with the kids on a team or in a class, they have to talk to the building principal and provide a list of student names,” said Benjamin Logan School District Superintendent Lori Lytle.

“It’s OK for a coach to send out a text or tweet announcing that practice is from 4 to 7,” she said, “or a teacher could send out a change in a math assignment.”

School districts have adopted the policies to protect against inappropriate communications. Nationally and locally, text messages via cellular phones or through social media such as Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr have been tools used by sexual deviants to communicate and recruit minors.

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