Schools are required to develop and revise cell phone and social media policies on a regular basis. This can be a difficult task, as there is a need to keep cell phones and social media from disrupting classrooms, the students also have rights under the First Amendment. School districts need to regularly review and revisit policies, as situations change and as technology advances. Teachers must be aware of their own rights in the classroom so they are able to properly communicate and discipline without fear of doing the wrong thing.
Types of Technology
There are a number of different aspects of technology at school which should all be addressed in a comprehensive policy. Most children today have cell phones; they are more common than not. Policies should address when students can carry and use cell phones. Other aspects of technology should be addressed as well. Accessing the Internet, posting on Facebook, and utilizing apps are all situations that must be reviewed and clarified when creating or reviewing a cell phone and social media policy.
Creating a Cell Phone and Social Media Policy
Once a list of all issues is reviewed, administrators need to create a cell phone and social media policy that not only addresses all the issues, but is also legal. The last thing schools need is a policy that causes dissention among students, teachers, and parents. When a policy is challenged, it could create a serious legal dispute. Therefore, it is best practice to have the proposed policy reviewed by an experienced education law attorney before putting it into effect.
In order to have an effective social media policy in place, it is necessary to communicate it to everyone who is held to abide by it. . Everyone needs to understand the policy that is in place, as well as what disciplinary action may be taken if the policy is not followed. Additionally, it is essential to provide everyone with details on how changes to the policy will be made and communicated.
Technology is moving forward at a record pace. Policies can be quickly outdated when new technology presents fresh problems. Also, the laws regarding technology and other such issues are constantly being changed, revised, and challenged. Therefore, it is necessary to stay abreast of the situation and address new situations immediately as they become apparent. There are often fallacies when discussing social media legal issues. These should be dispelled by having an attorney assist in the updating process.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Cell Phone and Social Media Policies, or any Education Law matter, please feel free to contact 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.