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WCSB discusses social media policy

Dec 1st, 2011 | 0

By ALICIA LEONARD

The Walton County School Board convened for a short meeting at their regularly scheduled time on Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. New chairman Dennis Wallace opened the meeting.

The board first moved to unanimously approve the agenda before them and the adoption of the minutes from the Nov. 1, 2011 meeting. Wallace then asked for public comments, but none were forthcoming and the board moved onto the consent agenda before them.

School attorney Ben Holley advised the board that a possible agreement between the Walton County School Board and Discovery Time Play School, due to the fact the playschool did not appear to be a legal entity, but could be an individual doing business as the entity, which although legal, needed to be clarified and specified to be approved. The board moved to approve all consent agenda items, and the Discovery Time Playschool approval hinged on Walton County School Superintendent and staff providing discovery and more details on the legal description of the business.

Next, the action agenda items came before the board. Anderson recommended approval of all items on the agenda and the board approved unanimously.

A discussion on a Social Media Committee Members came before the board next. Anderson told the board this committee was put together to discuss employees’ use of social media and not students. “This committee, because it is forming and will make recommendations to you, needs approval by you.” Holley reminded the board that if this committee was going to make recommendations for policy it would have to comply with the sunshine laws of Florida.

At this time, the school has neither a social media policy for students or employees. Anderson explained, “If someone wants to use our logo and set up a page on Facebook we have no policy or ways to handle that at this time. This would control not only how our employees are using social media but also how those that are affiliated with our school are using social media as well. This is becoming a problem. It’s not so much what is happening now, but the potential of what is going to happen.” Holley agreed, “It’s a big problem.”

Anderson responded to board member Sharon Robert’s question about the role of the proposed committee. “They would be writing the rule or policy on how our employees or those affiliated with us can use social media in regards to our school, our districts,” Anderson said. Roberts said that she did not in any way want this committee to overstep the position of internet technologies person Dewayne Geoghagan, and Anderson replied that although he was a part of this committee, this no way interfered with his job or threatened it. The motion was only for the approval of the formation of the committee. Any recommendations the committee bring before the board will have to be approved and be advertised to the public. The motion to form the committee was approved unanimously.

The next board meeting will be Dec. 6, 2011 meeting at 5 p.m. before adopting the new schedule changes in 2012.

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