HOPE – School board member Willie Buck called attention to how the era of social media has affected schools and public education in a recent report to the Hope Public Schools Board on the Southwest District conference of the National School Boards Association.
Buck attended the NSBA national conference in New Orleans, La., representing the HPSD.
He said a key focus of the district level discussions was the impact of social media, and how school districts respond to its growing influence over daily life.
“We, as a board, need to learn how to use social media effectively,” Buck noted. “We need to know what we can say and not say.”
He pointed out the presence of social media in schools is a function of the educational process today.
“They stress positive interaction with it,” Buck said.
He said school board members must show the leadership that comes with the challenges of innovation.
“We are leaders; we have to know what is going on in our schools,” Buck said.
Buck’s report was timely as the board adopted compliance measures for student use of electronic devices and social media during classes and in extracurricular settings.
Jeff Madlock, district technology coordinator, said handbook rules specifically outline the limits of those uses for students as a responsibility. Those requirements, he said, are as much for student safety as for district oversight.
Handbook policy, as reflected in the Hope High School handbook, specifies that the hardware and software technology provided by the district is for educational and/or instructional purposes exclusively.
Madlock said students and parents are required to sign policy statements acknowledging those requirements at the beginning of each school year.