“The new digital technologies are, indeed, bringing about fundamental shifts in patterns of communication and human relationships. The desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture are best understood as modern manifestations of the basic an d enduring propensity of humans to reach beyond themselves and to seek communion with others. In reality, when we open ourselves to others, we are fulfilling our deepest need and becoming more fully human. Loving is, in fact, what we are designed for by our creator.” ~Pope Benedict XVI
Message for the 2010 World Communications Day
Social media can be powerful tools for strengthening community as it becomes the platform to inform, communicate and network, but it should not be viewed as a substitute for face-to-face interaction. The use of social media tools will enhance the communication among Delone Catholic High School families and fans through the use of E-Chalk and Facebook, but in the future may include Twitter, LinkedIn, and other sources of communication.
Communicating in the World and Protecting Our Values
Delone Catholic is committed to preparing students for a lifetime of learning, growth, service, integrity, responsibility, accountability and justice. The following guiding principles and policies provide a foundation for appropriate online communication at DCHS with integrity and responsibility at the forefront. While we respect the right of students, employees, alumni and other members of our community to utilize the variety of social media options available, we require that the following guiding principles and policies be followed by our community members at all times who participate in DCHS sponsored sites.
Consult the Faculty Handbook and/or Student/Parent Handbook. Be aware that all existing policies and behavior guidelines extend to school related activities in the online environment, as well as on school premises.
Use good judgment. Think about the type of image that you want to convey on behalf of the school when you are posting to social networks and social media sites. Comments to DCHS-sponsored sites are welcomed and encouraged and we look forward to this exchange of communication from our community. To promote respectful discussion within this forum, we request that the participant be courteous and productive and avoid comments that are profane, obscene, offensive, sexually explicit, inappropriate, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable. Remember that what you post will be viewed and archived permanently online once you hit the “publish” button. On sites where you publicize your professional affiliation, make sure that your profile adheres to established criteria.
By posting a comment or other material to DCHS-sponsored sites, participants give DCHS the irrevocable right and license to exercise all copyright, publicity and moral rights with respect to any content participants provide, which includes using participant submission(s) for any purpose, in any form and on any media, including, but not limited to: displaying, modifying, reproducing, distributing, creating other works from, and publishing participant submissions. DCHS reserves the right to review all comments and to edit them to preserve readability and to demonstrate respect for other users.
DCHS further reserves the right to determine in its sole discretion which submissions meet its qualifications for posting; and to reject or remove comments for any reason, including, but not limited to, our belief that the comments violate this Social Media Policy. Any submissions that fail to follow this Social Media Policy in any way or are otherwise irrelevant will be removed.
We also reserve the right to amend this Social Media Policy, as needed in our judgment, to address issues that may arise, and/or changes in our operations of the law.
In posting material on DCHS-sponsored sites, participants agree not to:
- Post material that DCHS determines is threatening, harassing, illegal, obscene, defamatory, slanderous or hostile towards any individual or entity.
- Post phone numbers, email addresses or other confidential information of students, faculty or any other person other than yourself. If participants choose to post individual, private contact information for any other reason, please be aware that the information will be available to the public and is, therefore, subject to misuse.
- Post material that infringes on the rights of DCHS or any individual entity.
- Post material that violates the privacy of individuals and/or their intellectual property without prior approval.
- Post material that promotes or advertises a commercial product or solicits business or membership or financial or other support in any business, group or organization, except those which are officially sponsored by DCHS, except in designated areas specifically marked for this purpose.
- Post chain letters, post the same comment multiple times, or otherwise distribute “spam” via the DCHS-sponsored site.
- Allow any other individual or entity to use participant identification for posting or viewing comments.
- Post comments under multiple names, alias or false identity.
DCHS reserves the right to undertake any or all of the following:
- Ban future posts from people who violate this Social Media Policy. We may affect such bans by refusing posts from specific email or IP addresses, or through other means, as necessary.
- Remove or edit comments at any time, whether or not they violate this Policy.
Posting Photos, Videos and Audio Files
Photos, videos and audio files including, but not limited to, the presence or mention of alcohol, drugs, smoking, illegal behavior or any content deemed inappropriate for the DCHS community are a violation of these guidelines and will be removed.
For the protection and safety of all in the DCHS community, those using DCHS social media sites should never identify a student, parent or faculty member using the full name (first and last names) with a picture, video or audio file.
A participant agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Diocese of Harrisburg, Delone Catholic High School, its affiliates, Board of Directors, employees and successors, and assigns against any damages, losses, liabilities, judgments, causes of action, costs or expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs0 arising out of any claim by a third party relating to any material a participant has posted on DCHS-sponsored sites.
By posting a comment or material of any kind on a DCHS-sponsored site, the participant hereby agrees to the Social Media Policy set forth above.
Process for Reporting Abuse
Because of the fast-paced nature of postings, participants are encouraged to report immediately any posts they deem inappropriate. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any concerns so that the issue may be dealt with in a timely fashion. Please provide a detailed description of the post’s location.
Faculty Use of Social Networking Sites
DCHS respects the right of employees to use social media and networking sites, as well as personal websites and blogs, but it is important that employees’ personal and professional use of these sites does not damage the school’s reputation, its employees or its students or their families. Employees should exercise care in setting appropriate boundaries between their personal and public online behavior; understanding that what is private in the digital world often has the possibility of becoming public, even without their knowledge or consent. The school strongly encourages all employees to carefully review the privacy settings on any social media and networking sites they use and to exercise care and good judgment when posting content and information on such sites.
The nature of all social media communication and settings used by employees with students must be strictly professional and educational in manner. When using a social media site, an employee should not include current students as “friends” or “followers” in social networks or any other similar terminology used by various sites for personal use. However, an employee may establish or create a page or a group for professional and educational purposes for public engagements, such as fundraising and public communication. In-house communications of student clubs, teams or co-curricular activities are supported by the school’s content and communication management system. If an employee maintains or participates in a DCHS-sponsored online community that extends to persons who are parents, alumni, or other constituents, he/she must exercise good judgment about any content that is shared on the site. Additionally, employees should adhere to the following guidelines, which are consistent with the school’s workplace standards on harassment, student relationships, employee conduct, professional communication and confidentiality:
- An employee should not make statements that would violate any of the school’s policies, including its policies concerning discrimination or harassment.
- The employee must uphold the school’s value of respect for the individual and avoid making defamatory statements about the school, its employees, its students or their families.
- An employee may not disclose any confidential information of the school or confidential information obtained during the course of his/her employment, about any individuals or organizations, including students and/or their families.
- An employee may not participate in spreading false or unsubstantiated rumors or false information. Strive to speak the truth.
- Employees working with minors/youth are to use only organizational email rather than personal email accounts.
If the school believes that an employee’s activity on a social networking site, blog or personal website violates the school’s policies, the school may request that the employee cease such activity. Depending on the severity of the incident, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action.
Creating and Maintaining Official DCHS Social Networking Sites
All official DCHS social networking sites must be approved by the Principal and should adhere to the following standards:
- Logos and graphics used on the site must be consistent with the branding standards and usage guidelines of the school.
- Sites that accept comments or posting by anyone other than the site administrator shall be monitored to ensure that information displayed fits within DCHS guidelines and is appropriate to the subject matter of the page; and
- Students should not be expected to utilize the site as a source of important/needed educational information for the following reasons:
- Student access to social networking sites is restricted on the DCHS campus network.
- Parental permission to utilize social media sites may not be granted.
Student Use of Social Media
First and foremost, students with parental permission to utilize social media are encouraged to always exercise the utmost caution when participating in any form of social media or online communications, both with the DCHS community and beyond.
Students who participate in online interactions must remember that their posts reflect on the entire DCHS community and, as such, are subject to the same behavioral standards set forth in the Student Code of Conduct and the Acceptable Use Policy.
In addition to the regulations found in the Student Handbook, students are expected to abide by the following:
- To protect the privacy of DCHS students and faculty, students my not, under any circumstances, create digital still photos, digital video or audio recordings of DCHS community members either on campus or at off-campus DCHS events for online publications or distribution without the knowledge and consent of those being recorded or photographed.
- Be aware of what you post online. Social media venues are very public. What you contribute leaves a digital footprint for all to see. Do not post anything you would not want friends, enemies, parents, teachers or future employers to see.
- Be safe online. Never give out personal information, including, but not limited to, last names, phone numbers, addresses, exact birth dates and pictures. Do not share your password with anyone except your parents.
- Do your own work! Do not use other people’s intellectual property without their permission. Be aware that it is a violation of copyright law to copy and paste others’ thoughts. It is good practice to hyperlink your sources.
- Be aware that pictures, videos, songs and audio clips may also be protected under copyright laws. Verify that you have permission to use the images, videos, songs or other clips.
- How you represent yourself online is an extension of yourself. Do not misrepresent yourself by using someone else’s identity.
- Blog and wiki posts should be well written. Follow writing conventions including proper grammar, capitalization and punctuation.
- Students may not use social media sites to publish disparaging or harassing remarks about DCHS community members, athletic or academic contest rivals or any individual, organization or entity.
- Students who do not abide by these terms and conditions may lose their opportunity to access online tools.
This Social Media Policy will be in addition to the DCHS Acceptable Use Policy. Failure to abide by these policies, as well as with other policies at DCHS, may result in disciplinary action as described in the Student/Parent Handbook or as determined by the school administration.
As partners in the education of our children, we are asking parents to monitor their child’s social media use. If your child refuses to grant you access to their account, we strongly recommend that you have them deactivate the account. The following steps will further assist parents in monitoring their children:
- Be aware of what devices your child is using to access the Internet (phone, laptop, Wii, IPad, etc.).
- Emphasize the public nature of social media sites.
- Discuss the permanence behind posting comments, pictures and video. Even if a posting is removed, a digital footprint will be left in its place.
- Talk with your child about his/her privacy settings and work together to adjust them appropriately.
- Review your child’s friends list.
- Parents have the right to demand any information on the Internet about their child be removed.