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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Newburg schools may form social media committee

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  • The Newburg R-II School District superintendent wants to form a committee that would help come up with solutions for social media issues that arise in the district.
    "Social media is here to stay," said John Westerman, superintendent, during the district's board of education meeting Feb. 25.
    Westerman mentioned the idea of creating a social media committee after an issue, in which teachers in the district were posting photos of their students or classes on Facebook, was brought to his attention.
    Westerman said the district has been advised against posting such photos because of liability issues.
    Westerman had the school district's attorneys draft a release form that would allow parents to give permission to have their students photos published on Facebook.
    "They (parents and students) have some rights too," the superintendent said. "Our rule is, if the parent doesn't return that release form or if the parent doesn't want to do it, their kid won't be on Facebook."
    With a few wording changes, the school board unanimously approved the form and social media policy. The form is expected to be sent out at the beginning of next school year.
    Also because the district does not have the means to monitor all of its teachers' accounts and because they have no control over personal Facebook accounts, it was recommended that the district have one page in which the teachers or staff are allowed to post to.
    According to Westerman, the social media committee, once formed, could meet on these or similar issues. When such issues arise, the committee can assist with finding solutions, he said.
    "I think it's a good place to start and have this committee ... I see this evolving and changing the way we do things," he said, adding that he wants the teachers who are posting to Facebook or using social media to serve on the committee.

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