TUPELO – New guidelines for Lee County School District employees prohibit them from posting sensitive school information online.
The district’s school board passed an update to its staff/student non-fraternization policy during its Tuesday meeting. The change notes that employees who participate on social networking websites shall not post inappropriate information or discuss school business that might disrupt daily school operations.
Examples of inappropriate information listed in the policy include personnel issues such as hiring and resignations and derogatory comments concerning any and all school district employees on work-related issues. It states that the superintendent shall determine appropriateness.
“I know a lot of people enjoy Facebook, but when you start posting stuff on Facebook, you have opened yourself up for a lawsuit,” Superintendent Jimmy Weeks told the district’s teachers at their opening meeting on Thursday, noting that teachers have faced lawsuits in other school districts for discussing sensitive school personnel business.
“We are not trying to censor your speech. We’re not trying to deny your civil rights. I’m trying to say be careful what you post on Facebook. You never know what will upset someone else and cause them to seek a lawsuit against you.”
All of the district’s teachers received a copy of the new policy. They also were given a copy of the Mississippi Educator Code of Conduct, which they are required to sign.