Social Media Guidelines
Social media posts may only include identifiable student images if the student has a parent/guardian release on file in Infinite Campus. Most parents/guardians have given permission, but a short list of students who do not have photo releases can be accessed through the school DPO or Student Services. Exceptions: pep assemblies, large school events, or teams/organizations that perform publicly. Use caution in a classroom. If you are unsure about parent releases, avoid showing identifiable faces, and/or take pictures from an angle (like the back) that doesn’t showcase faces.
Not Everyone is on Social Media
High School District 214 cannot require students or parents to have specific social media accounts. Therefore, any information made available on social media sites for students and parents should also be made available via alternate means.
- Teachers, staff and official school accounts should not actively “follow” students.
- Staff should be aware of their role as mandatory reporters. Any comments requiring immediate action due to mandatory reporting – including threats, bullying, etc. – should be captured electronically, removed if possible and reported immediately to the appropriate administrator.
- All communication between staff and students on social media – i.e. as part of an instructional setting – should be considered a matter of record, part of the District archives, and/or may be accessible to others via the Freedom of Information Act.
- Published content should never compromise the professionalism, integrity and ethics of District 214 and/or its employees.
- Use good judgment and common sense
- Don’t violate the privacy of another staff member
- Maintain confidentiality of privileged student and staff information
- Professional and classroom accounts should be established using the staff member’s registered “@d214.org” email address whenever possible.
- School accounts should not speak comprehensively on behalf of the District.
- The administrators of each official school-level social media account should provide passwords to the Assistant Principal for Student Activities or his/her designee. Login information for other accounts being used for instructional/professional/co-curricular purposes may also be requested by administration.
- Media pays attention to school/staff posts on social media and may incorporate them into their stories. Be cognizant of the information you share publicly.
Responding to the Media
There are times when the press bypasses the District's communications team and contacts you directly, for example when noticing a social media post. Thank the reporter for their interest and explain that all press inquiries are handled by the Communications Coordinator and Director of Community Engagement and Outreach. Write down what they are looking for and contact the Communications Coordinator Stephanie Kim immediately at email@example.com or via cell at 224-261-6872.
Some media members will try to get information on the spot and may casually ask for more details. Always know that what you say on the phone or in email can be quoted.
If the media arrives at your building without warning, contact the Communications Coordinator or a representative of the Community Engagement and Outreach team.
Communicate with your school news liaison or school administrative team about academic or co-curricular successes, events and new programs; they will format the news and send it to the Communications Coordinator, who will send it to the media. Please send high-resolution pictures and horizontal videos.
Make sure to publicize upcoming events at least three weeks in advance.
General Interview Tips
- Know how you fit into the story. Talk with the Communications Coordinator about the story angle and what points you should deliver.
- Practice. The Communications Coordinator will help prep you and give you questions to prepare for. Write down your key points, if that helps.
- During interviews, if you are unsure of an answer to a question, tell the reporter you will look into the issue and get back to them. Don't guess.
- Most interviews are pre-recorded, you can restate your answers if you stumble/want to be more clear.
- Students must have parental permission before being part of an interview. Contact the Communications Coordinator before you offer a student's name to a reporter or include a student in an interview.
- Answer questions and then stop talking. Silence can be uncomfortable, sometimes making interviewees feel the need to continue chatting.
- Have anecdotes ready to illustrate your points. When talking about students, don't give personal identifiers (names, addresses, etc.).
- Don't use jargon. Speak in layman's terms, or be sure to explain acronyms and educational terminology.
- Repeat your key messages, even if you sound like a broken record. This will let the reporter know that what you are stressing is important.
- Never say, "No comment."
Download the pdf here.