Dothan City Schools’ superintendent is asking board members to consider adopting a new social media policy soon after removing the football’s team offensive coordinator from his position for his online activity.

The city school board also voted not to renew his teaching contract.

Public Information Officer Meagan Dorsey drafted the 5- to 6-page policy introduced to board members at their regular Monday meeting.

The policy distinguishes between school-sponsored social media accounts, school-related accounts, and personal accounts.

Personal accounts are defined as “a social media account, regardless of platform that is operated by a school district employee or School Board member for his/her personal use, including personal professional development. A personal social media account is not regularly used to promote or communicate about school district events or activities, or the activities of students nor identifies the individual as an employee of the district.”

School-Sponsored Social Media Account is “a social media account, regardless of platform, that is operated by or on behalf of a school district employee or School Board member, or their designee in his/her professional capacity, or on behalf of a school sponsored organization or group, and that is designed to further the educational mission of the school district by communicating with members of the school district community and the general public.”

School-Related Organizations and Groups Social Media Account is “a social media account, regardless of platform, that is operated by or on behalf of a volunteer, student, parent, alumnus, or other member of the public on behalf of a school-related organization or group, including but not limited to a PTO, Booster Organization, etc. school-related social media accounts are operated by volunteers as outlined above and not operated by school district employees or School Board members as a part of their primary employed function.”

All school-sponsored social media accounts are to be brought under the purview of the public information officer and treated as “limited public forums.”

Dorsey said the policy was drafted as a tool to hold employees accountable to the school system’s personnel policy and Alabama Educator Code of Ethics in relation to their social media activity and protect Dothan City School’s brand.

The full social media policy draft can be viewed here.

The item was tabled on Monday and will be reviewed again at the school’s next regularly-scheduled board meeting next month.

When will school start back?

The Alabama State Department of Education has not yet issued guidance on when schools can start back. Recent surveys around the country indicate many parents would prefer an alternative option to physically going to school, as fears surrounding the coronavirus remain.

Dothan City Schools recently conducted a survey about how parents feel about allowing their child to return to school in the fall. Those results will be made public shortly.

Chalk Talk, an education notebook compiled by beat reporter Sable Riley, appears in the Dothan Eagle and at DothanEagle.com.

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