Valley Local Schools
Social Media Guidelines & Reminders
Increasingly, social media has become an important way people communicate and learn in the 21st century. The Valley Local Schools are providing you these guidelines and reminders to help you safely and responsibly use social media at school, at home and out in public daily.
These are recommendations and reminders for appropriate social media use, and for creating a positive and healthy digital footprint to protect you and your privacy online.
Your Digital Footprint
When you are going onto the internet, assume nothing is private and no one is anonymous. Everything you post, search, or download can be traced back to an IP address associated with your device (i.e. smartphone, laptop or chromebook). In addition, if you are using the school wi-fi, your school account, and accessing the web at any time, your activity is monitored and logged by our school web servers and security/filtering software. Therefore, your activity is subject to the VLSD acceptable use policy and the student code of conduct you signed at the start of the school year.
Valley Local Schools
- Recently, we have had several events concerning improper use of social media. Many of these can be attributed to the neglect of students following the district policy of students keeping their cell phones turned off and in their lockers during the school day. Consequences have and will continue to be given to students for violating this policy. As well, we will continue to also give consequences for students who violate the VLSD Acceptable Use Policy. Hopefully the information given to you below will assist students and parents in understanding this issue.
- There is no "invasion of privacy". Information can be accessible even after you remove it.
- Comments made online are the same as comments made in person, and Valley Local Schools will not tolerate inappropriate comments or behavior online. You must take responsibility for your own electronic device.
- Students should not post or submit photos, videos, comments or posters showing personal use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or guns. Also students should not take, post or share partially nude or fully nude photos or photos of sexual content, including sexting messages. These examples, in addition to others, will result in
- Students should not post, tweet (or repost/ retweet) messages that encourage unacceptable, violent or illegal activities such as discrimination, hazing, harassment or solicitation.
While utilizing social media, you should remember your audience is vast, potentially world wide. You should always take responsibility for what you post, or allow to be posted to your account. This is a part of your digital footprint and who you are as a person. If you post your thoughts on the internet/social media, remember:
discipline for violations of the school code of conduct and may also result in criminal charges outside of school.
- If you retweet, share or forward messages, multimedia files or posts, you are saying you agree with them and are also promoting them.
- Students should not take photos or videos of staff, other students, coaches or school personnel and post them on social media, without permission. This applies to pictures of strangers as well. You should always ask permission before taking a photo or video of others. Getting permission is important because others may not want their photos posted online. As well you can be sued for copyright infringement by using photos, songs, logos or other content that does not belong to you.
- Personal social media use, even after school hours, may result in trouble at school, including disciplinary action. Your digital activity, towards other students and staff at Valley Local Schools, that create a disruption, are subject to the VLSD student code of conduct.
- Cyberbullying is outlined in the VLSD Student Handbook, and is not tolerated at Valley Local Schools. If you are being bullied online, or know someone else is being bullied, report the behavior to your parents, teacher, guidance counselor or principal and get help.
- If you are ever in doubt about the appropriateness of your online behavior or material, consider discussing it with your parents, guidance counselor or principal.
Ultimately, your parents are responsible for what you do online, when you are a minor (under 18 years old). Therefore you should share with your parents what you are doing online, and why. Since you never know who could or will read what you share online, always assume anyone could. Ask yourself, "Would you be okay with a parent or relative seeing what you are sharing online?" Be open to your parents' suggestions about what you should and should not be doing online. As well, be open to their suggestions about what information should remain private and what information can be shared, even when your parents are not as social media savvy.
Please click here for pdf of the information: