Social Media Guidelines for Staff

Personal Responsibility

  • Cornwall-Lebanon School District employees are personally responsible for the content they publish online. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time—protect your privacy.
  • Your online behavior should reflect the same standards of honesty, respect, and consideration that you use face-to-face.
  • When posting to your blog be sure you say that the information is representative of your views and opinions and not necessarily the views and opinions of Cornwall-Lebanon School District.
  • Remember that blogs, wikis and podcasts are an extension of your classroom.  What is inappropriate in your classroom should be deemed inappropriate online.
  • The lines between public and private, personal and professional are blurred in the digital world. By virtue of identifying yourself as a Cornwall-Lebanon School District employee online, you are now connected to colleagues, students, parents and the school community. You should ensure that content associated with you is consistent with your work at Cornwall-Lebanon School District.
  • When contributing online, do not post confidential student information.


  • Cornwall-Lebanon School District employees are highly encouraged to include disclaimers within their personal blogs that the views are their own and do not reflect on their employer.  For example, “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent Cornwall-Lebanon School District’s positions, strategies, opinions, or policies.” 
  • This standard disclaimer does not by itself exempt Cornwall-Lebanon School District employees from a special responsibility when blogging.
  • Classroom blogs do not require a disclaimer, but teachers are encouraged to moderate content contributed by students.

Copyright and Fair Use

  • Respect copyright and fair use guidelines. See U.S. Copyright Office – Fair Use.
  • A hyperlink to outside sources is recommended. Be sure not to plagiarize and give credit where it is due.  When using a hyperlink, be sure that the content is appropriate and adheres to the Cornwall-Lebanon School District AUP.

Profiles and Identity

  • Remember your association and responsibility with the Cornwall-Lebanon School District in online social environments. If you identify yourself as a Cornwall-Lebanon District employee, ensure your profile and related content is consistent with how you wish to present yourself with colleagues, parents, and students.  How you represent yourself online should be comparable to how you represent yourself in person.
  • No last names, school names, addresses or phone numbers should appear on blogs or wikis.
  • Be cautious how you setup your profile, bio, avatar, etc.
  • When uploading digital pictures or avatars that represent yourself make sure you select a school appropriate image. Adhere to Employee handbook guidelines as well as your AUP. Also remember not to utilize protected images. Images should be available under Creative Commons or your own.

Use of Social Media such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter

  • Cornwall-Lebanon School District employees are personally responsible for all comments/information they publish online. Be mindful that what you publish will be public for a long time—protect your privacy.
  • Your online behavior should reflect the same standards of honesty, respect, and consideration that you use face-to-face, and be in accordance with the highest professional Standards.
  • By posting your comments having online conversations etc. on social media sites you are broadcasting to the world, be aware that even with the strictest privacy settings what you ‘say’ online should be within the bounds of professional discretion. Comments expressed via social networking pages under the impression of a ‘private conversation’ may still end up being shared into a more public domain, even with privacy settings on maximum.
  • Comments related to the school should always meet the highest standards of professional discretion. When posting, even on the strictest settings, staff should act on the assumption that all postings are in the public domain.
  • Before posting photographs and videos, permission should be sought from the subject where possible. This is especially the case where photographs of professional colleagues are concerned.
  • Before posting personal photographs, thought should be given as to whether the images reflect on your professionalism.
  • Photographs relating to alcohol or tobacco use may be deemed inappropriate. Remember, your social networking site is an extension of your personality, and by that token an extension of your professional life and your classroom. If it would seem inappropriate to put a certain photograph on the wall – is it really correct to put it online?
  • Microblogging (Twitter etc.) Comments made using such media are not protected by privacy settings as witnessed by the high profile cases in the UK with sports stars being disciplined for tweets expressing personal views. Employees should be aware of the public and widespread nature of such media and again refrain from any comment that could be deemed unprofessional. 
  • Cornwall-Lebanon School District discourages teachers, administration or other staff members from ‘friending’ active students on personal accounts. The Cornwall-Lebanon School District does ask staff to consider creating a fan page in Facebook or a separate classroom/club twitter account instead of using your personal account.

Social Bookmarking

  • Be aware that others can view the sites that you bookmark.
  • Be aware of words used to tag or describe the bookmark.
  • Be aware of URL shortening services. Verify the landing site to which they point before submitting a link as a bookmark. It would be best to utilize the original URL if not constrained be the number of characters as in microblogs — i.e. Twitter.
  • Attempt to link directly to a page or resource if possible as you do not control what appears on landing pages in the future.

Instant Messaging

  • Cornwall-Lebanon School District employees are required to get authorization to have instant messaging programs downloaded on their school computers.
  • Cornwall-Lebanon School District employees also recognize this same authorization is required for access to instant messaging programs that are available through web interfaces with no download.
  • Avatar images and profile information should follow the same guidelines as the above Profiles and Identity section.

Requests for Social Media Sites

The Cornwall-Lebanon School District understands that 21st century learning is constantly changing technology and that many sites that are currently “blocked” by the Cornwall-Lebanon School District’s internet filter may have pedagogical significance for teacher and student use.

  • If you would like to request that another online site be accessible to use for teaching and learning, please fill out a work request on the district helpdesk website.
  • Requests will be reviewed and the district social media guidelines will be updated periodically throughout the school year.
  • A description should be provided of the intended use of the site and what tools on the site match your needed criteria.