Employee Social Media Guidelines and Expectations

Personal Use of Electronic Media and Communications

Policy DH


Electronic media includes all forms of social media, such as text messaging, instant messaging, electronic mail (e-mail), Web logs (blogs), wikis, electronic forums (chat rooms), video-sharing websites (e.g., YouTube), editorial comments posted on the Internet, and social network sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram). Electronic media also includes all forms of telecommunication such as landlines, cell phones, and Web-based applications.


While operating District-owned vehicles or power equipment, employees may not use personal electronic communication devices.


As role models for the district’s students, employees are responsible for their public conduct even when they are not acting as district employees. Employees will be held to the same professional standards in their public use of electronic media as they are for any other public conduct. If an employee’s use of electronic media violates state or federal law or district policy, or interferes with the employee’s ability to effectively perform his or her job duties, the employee is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. If an employee wishes to use a social network site or similar media for personal purposes, the employee is responsible for the content on the employee’s page, including content added by the employee, the employee’s friends, or members of the public who can access the employee’s page, and for Web links on the employee’s page. The employee is also responsible for maintaining privacy settings appropriate to the content. Employees are prohibited from communicating with students through a personal social network site.


An employee who uses electronic media for personal purposes shall observe the following:

  • The employee may not set up or update the employee’s personal social network page(s) using the district’s computers, network, or equipment.
  • The employee shall limit use of personal electronic communication devices to send or receive calls, text messages, pictures, and videos to breaks, meal times, and before and after scheduled work hours, unless there is an emergency or the use is authorized by a supervisor to conduct district business.
  • The employee shall not use the district’s logo or other copyrighted material of the district without express, written consent.
  • An employee may not share or post, in any format, information, videos, or pictures obtained while on duty or on district business unless the employee first obtains written approval from the employee’s immediate supervisor.
  • Employees should be cognizant that they have access to information and images that, if transmitted to the public, could violate privacy concerns.
  • The employee continues to be subject to applicable state and federal laws, local policies, administrative regulations, and the Texas Educators’ Code of Ethics, even when communicating regarding personal and private matters, regardless of whether the employee is using private or public equipment, on or off campus. These restrictions include:
    • Confidentiality of student records. [See Policy FL]
    • Confidentiality of health or personnel information concerning colleagues, unless disclosure serves lawful professional purposes or is required by law. [See DH (EXHIBIT)]
    • Confidentiality of district records, including educator evaluations and private e-mail addresses. [See Policy GBA]
    • Copyright law [See Policy CY]
    • Prohibition against harming others by knowingly making false statements about
      a colleague or the school system. [See DH (EXHIBIT)]