Liberty Liberal Arts Academy's Social & Digital Media Code of Conduct
This Code of Conduct applies to teachers & other independent contractors, volunteers, students, parents, siblings, guardians, family members, and to all visitors who attend LLAA or an LLAA event.
Social media can be defined in many ways. It includes sites, platforms, apps, etc., such as: Social networking sites (including but not limited to Facebook, Google+, Bebo, etc.), Video and photo sharing sites (including but not limited to Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat), Microblogging sites (including but not limited to Twitter), Personal blogs (including but not limited to Blogger, Wordpress), Local area websites, chat rooms, forums, or discussion boards, Online encyclopedias (including but not limited to Wikipedia), Text messages, voice messages, voice & other recordings, and emails. Because of the blur between personal and professional communications, this Code of Conduct is in conjunction with and our Handbook and helps explain what is recommended and expected. This Code of Conduct applies to all Liberty Liberal Arts Academy (hereinafter referred to as LLAA) Teachers & other independent contractors, volunteers, students, parents, siblings, guardians, family members, and visitors to LLAA or to an LLAA event. (hereinafter referred to as “you,” “your,” and “I”).
1. Remember all internet postings are permanent, able to be duplicated, and may go viral. While you have the right to express yourself, it does not mean you are excluded from the consequences of your communication. Do not try to change things after the fact. Think twice, type once. In many cases, don’t type at all.
2. Use your common sense. If you wonder whether or not to communicate or post, don't do it until you consult with the LLAA Administrator.
3. You are prohibited from using social media and/or digital media to cause harm to another Teacher & other independent contractor/volunteer/parent/student & visitor. For your protection and the protection of LLAA and its owners/administrators, you are prohibited from using internal or external social media channels to discuss confidential items, legal matters, litigation, or the organization's financial performance. Confidential information includes anything labeled as such or information not available to the public. When asked by others to discuss any of these matters, you should relay that "Our social media policy only allows authorized individuals to discuss these types of matters. I can refer you to an authorized individual if you'd like to ask them," and then refer the question to the Administrator.
4. Be open and honest about who you are when you communicate. LLAA trusts and expects you to exercise personal responsibility whenever you use social media, which includes respecting the trust of those with whom you are engaging. However, these policies are not meant to interfere with your legal rights to bargain collectively or engage in concerted or protected activities.
5. Respect your privacy, the privacy of our LLAA family, students, & teachers, and the school's privacy by not providing personal or confidential information without permission. Also, Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parent/students & visitors are prohibited from sharing anything via social media channels that could violate another Teacher & other independent contractor/volunteer/parent/student & visitor's right to personal privacy.
6. Only those officially designated may use social media to speak on behalf of LLAA in an official capacity, though you may use social media to speak for yourself individually. If and when designated persons use social media to communicate on behalf of the school, they should clearly identify themselves as a Teacher & other independent contractor/volunteer/parent/student & visitor.
7. If you are communicating with students of LLAA through any digital or social media, act as you would if you were communicating in person. Specifically, communicate with students of LLAA using transparency and in a group, or do not communicate at all. If it is necessary to send an individual message outside of a public area to a student, copy another adult or the parent of the student.
Adults: Do not initiate a one-on-one relationship (such as friending from a personal profile) with a student without prior parental permission. A student is considered to be anyone 18 years and younger, or, who is 18 or older but is currently enrolled as a high school student at LLAA.
8. Do not violate copyright and fair use laws and do not plagiarize another's work. Obtain permission if you wish to use material created by someone else.
9. Do not use LLAA’s email address or social media channels for personal use. Do not the post personal information of another (such as phone numbers, email or other social media addresses or home addresses) on any social or digital media.
10. Harassment, threats, intimidation, ethnic slurs, personal insults, pornography, obscenity, racial or religious intolerance, abuse, revenge, and any other form of behavior prohibited by law is also prohibited via social media channels against any Teacher & other independent contractor/volunteer/parent/student & visitor. Do not engage in any such behavior and do not forward to others, make or comment on any such behavior, comments, or remarks which others have made, or disseminate the harmful information in any way. Even if you did not initiate the problem, you could be legally liable for merely forwarding it on to another, regardless of having an improper intent.
11. If you are not officially authorized to speak on behalf of LLAA, yet desire to voice an opinion regarding a matter involving LLAA, use a disclaimer saying that what you communicate is your personal opinion and not that of the school when you are engaging in conversation on LLAA's social media channels. Two sample social media disclaimers include: (1) "I am a parent, student, or teacher at LLAA, and this is my personal opinion.” and (2) "I am not an official spokesperson, but my personal opinion is. . . ." This requirement is not meant to interfere with your rights to bargain collectively or engage in concerted or protected activities but rather to ensure that others can easily distinguish the official position of the school or the school's Administrator from those of our Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parents/students & visitors.
12. Users should use their best judgment when engaging in social media activities and should be on guard against actions and discussions that could harm the interests of our community, faith, or other persons. Respect individuals and communities in which you interact, even if their opinions are different than your own. LLAA teachers and parents should conduct themselves online in a way that honors the Lord and maintains a clear Christian witness. Christ has called us to be “salt and light” to the world. At the same time, prayerfully consider who you associate with online. By accepting someone as a “friend” and associating with them, you allow everyone you are friends with online to see their activity. Social networks are a great way to minister to people, but carefully, prayerfully weighing the risks is highly recommended.
Before recording anyone's voice, or posting moving video or still photographs of any person, you must first obtain his/her permission. Illinois is a 2-party consent state.
For Paragraphs 13: For voice recordings: One-sided recordings without the other person's permission in Illinois are illegal under 720 ILCS 5/14-1 et seq. as a Class 4 Felony.
13. Secret Voice Recordings: Secret Recordings are prohibited at all times at LLAA and at LLAA events. Don't post voice recordings of another person, even a friend, unless you obtain that person's consent before you post. Remember, the parent can always override the decision of his or her child.
For Paragraph 14: Before disseminating still photos or moving video recordings of any person, you must first obtain his/her permission. Illinois is a 2-party consent state. One-sided videos disseminated or published without the other person's permission in Illinois are illegal under 720 ILCS 5/26-4 et seq. as a Class 3 or Class 4 Felony.
14. Photos/Videos: Do not “tag” students to photos on social media sites and never include the individual’s names. Don't post video or photos of another person, even a friend, unless you obtain that person's consent to post. Don’t post photos that could even remotely be misconstrued. The context of a photo cannot always be communicated. The appearance of misconduct or questionable character is just a few clicks away. If for any reason a student, parent, teacher or LLAA Admin asks you to remove a photo you have posted, you must immediately remove it. Remember, the parent can always override the decision of his or her child.
15. All of LLAA’s other policies and rules, such as its Code of Conduct and Zero Tolerance Policy, apply to the use of digital and social media, cell phones, recording devices, computers, laptops, tablets, drones, wrieless networks, clouds, and any other electronic or other device used in the process. All communication by Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parent/students & visitors should take into account the organization's values, reputation, and workplace/schoolplace policies.
16. Any violations of LLAA's Social and Digital Media Code of Conduct will result in immediate discipline and/or expulsion & termination of your student or family from LLAA, or of your teaching opportunity at LLAA. Violations may be turned over to the authorities with the possibility of prosecution. LLAA has a legal requirement to report certain behaviors to the Police and/or DCFS.
17. For reasons of security, system capacity, tracking problems, and to maintain a positive witness to our Internet provider and the rest of the world, LLAA’s Computer Network & its Host Church Network (including wireless) monitors Internet use and sites accessed. If inappropriate sites are accessed or a situation of abuse is established, the Administrator will be notified by the webmaster.
18. Failure to comply with this agreement may result in disciplinary action which may include expulsion and termination. Personal use of the LLAA Computer Network is permitted & Adults & Teachers only are permitted to use its Host Church Network (including wireless), so long as it is otherwise consistent with this agreement and other LLAA policies, and it does not interfere with the assigned responsibilities of a Teacher & other independent contractors/volunteers/parents/students & visitor.
19. Notice & Informed Consent: Personal use of the LLAA Computer Network & its Host Church Network (including wireless) constitutes your legal notice and informed consent for you, your minor children, and all visitors for LLAA to access all messages, files, websites, documents and information sent, viewed, received, downloaded, accessed and compiled by the employee. LLAA may access your messages, texts, emails, recordings, photos, etc., and also those of third-party messages, etc. and information for various reasons, including by not limited to obtaining information necessary to the conduct of the school’s business, complying with legal requirements and court orders and otherwise as necessary to ensure compliance with this policy and other LLAA policies. Use of the LLAA Computer Network & its Host Church Network (including wireless) should not disrupt the operation of either Computer or Wireless Network. It is against LLAA rules and policy for its Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parent/students & visitors to use the Internet in any manner that is defamatory or may disparage or harass any other Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parent/student of LLAA. Similarly, the creation, transmission, downloading or uploading of messages or documents that are illegal, defamatory, sexually explicit or discriminatory, or that include profane, derogatory, and off-color or threatening language or sexual comments is prohibited on the LLAA Computer Network or its Host Church Network (including wireless). Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parent/students & visitors shall not use any component or Directory of Information of the LLAA Computer Network for commercial purposes. Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parent/students & visitors shall not use any component of the LLAA Computer Network for its Host Church Network (including wireless) or lobbying and/or supporting political candidates or campaigns. Any person violating this policy may be subjected to disciplinary action, including dismissal. Violations may also be turned over to the authorities with the possibility of prosecution.
20. Unauthorized Use – Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parent/students & visitors are not permitted to use the LLAA Computer Network or the Host Church Network (including wireless) to visit websites or send email messages that are deemed by the Administrator as inappropriate or in violation of other LLAA guidelines. If you have any questions whether your behavior would constitute unauthorized use, contact the Administrator.
21. Software and Copyright – LLAA fully supports copyright laws (federal, state, and common law). Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parent/student's & visitors may not use the LLAA Computer Network or its Host Church Network (including wireless) to copy or use any software, images, music or other intellectual property (such as books or videos) unless the Teacher & other independent contractor/volunteer/parent/student & visitor has the legal right to do so or which violates LLAA's Code of Conduct, Zero Tolerance, or other Handbook rules. Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parents/students & visitors must comply with all licenses regulating the use of any software and may not disseminate or copy any such software without authorization.
22. If you have been harmed by a violation of this Code of Conduct or if you have any questions, please report it to the LLAA Head of School immediately.
23. All Teachers & other independent contractors/volunteers/parent/student's and Visitors entering LLAA or participating in an LLAA event agree that they and their children will abide by this Code of Conduct, and understand that they and their children will be liable for any violations.
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