Lawrence school district starts eyeing employee social media policy

photo by: Nick Krug

Lawrence Public Schools district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

A social media policy may be on the horizon for Lawrence school district employees, though the idea is in its earliest phase.

David Cunningham, executive director of human resources and chief legal counsel, brought up the idea at the Board Policy Advisory Committee’s meeting on Monday. He said he heard about various social media policies at a professional development workshop he attended recently.

Cunningham offered to seek out some sample policies for the committee to review, “so that we can begin to have some expectations about what people do on social media, in their official capacity as an employee,” he said.

Board members Kelly Jones and Shannon Kimball agreed that Cunningham should bring some examples to a future committee meeting.

Cunningham noted that some of the policies for employees in the private sector are likely more strenuous than what the district would consider as a public entity.

Jones raised a question of how student privacy laws factor into what can be posted on social media.

“We tend not to put into policy what’s already in statutes,” Cunningham said. “There are rules out there in relation to how much information you can share … We would have something in policy to deal more broadly with social media and how people choose to use social media.”

Kimball said language on social media would also be included in a board governance document that’s in the works.

In other business, the committee made some minor tweaks to clarify language in a few district policies, following some recommendations from the Kansas Association of School Boards. Those changes will be brought to the school board’s Jan. 28 meeting for consideration.


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