The Office of Education recognizes that many employees, school volunteers and faith formation volunteers in the Catholic elementary and secondary schools and parish faith formation programs in the Diocese of Belleville use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube to name a few. The use of social media is being used in a variety of methods that are positive and assist in the educational process. At the same time school employee’s use of social media could become a problem if it:
• Interferes with the employee’s work
• Is used to harass or discriminate against co-workers, students and their parents
• Creates a hostile work environment
• Divulges confidential information about the school, students, parents or diocesan and parish staff and personnel.
As a result, school employees are expected to use social media within the following guidelines. If an employee is uncertain about the appropriateness of a social media posting, check with the principal or the Office of Education.
Social Media Procedures and Regulations:
1. Use of comments or pictures involving other employees, volunteers, students, parish personnel, diocesan officials without their expressed written consent is forbidden.
2. Negative comments about the school, the parish, the Catholic Church , the Diocese of Belleville or the Bishop of Belleville are not to be posted.
3. Use of the school’s logo or any organizational material may only be used with written permission by the school principal.
4. All postings on social media must comply with Diocese of Belleville and school policies on confidentiality and disclosure of proprietary information. When this issue is in doubt, regarding the confidential nature of information that is being considered for posting, the principal shall be consulted.
5. Creating links to the school or Diocese of Belleville web-site or the posting of any school or Diocese of Belleville material on a social network media site must have written permission from the appropriate site or agency.
6. All school and Diocese of Belleville policies and regulations that regulate off-duty conduct apply to social media activity, including, but not limited to policies related to illegal harassment, code of conduct, nondiscrimination and protecting confidential and /or proprietary information.
7. Employees may not use the school or parish equipment for non-work related activities without written permission. School and Diocese of Belleville policies on the use of computers and electronics apply to social media use at work, including the policy that personal use of school/parish computers, including personal social media activities should not interfere with an employee’s duties at work.
8. Use of social media to contact students for personal matters is forbidden.
9. Violation of this policy shall lead to discipline up to and including the immediate termination of employment or dismissal from volunteer service.
The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton
Bishop of Belleville