The timing of this news story is appropriate given the recent Twitter discussions. (See my posts from the past couple of days) One of the points made was that teacher do have support from their federations; administrators don’t. It reinforces a couple of points that were made.
- How does this apply to the use of Twitter?
- Someone monitors staff Twitter messages.
And the story …
The article mentions that it’s the second violation of the company’s social media policy. We’re going to hear about this for a while, I suspect.
The key to this is that it was the second violation of the policy. To me, that implies that there was obviously a first violation, presumably an awareness made to what the policy is, and that this second violation was deemed to required further action on the part of the employer.
And there’s a policy. Presumably the policy outlines what’s appropriate and draws a line over which employees should not step.
It’s difficult to know where that line actually is. Is it subject to a particular whim of a boss or to someone who might be having a bad day? Is it subject to interpretation?
You can’t help but tie this back to the conversation that Paul McGuire started. Read my last two posts if you’re not up to speed.
I would think all of this would lead to some soul searching.
- Does your employer have a social media policy? If so, when was the last time you looked at it?
- Is there a clearly defined line of appropriateness? If not, why not?
- Are you prepared to see if you can find that line?
I think that there are some pretty easily defined lines.
- Engaging in a racial discussion gone ugly
- Show pictures of students on social media if it’s prohibited by policy
- Put any student at risk because of your actions
- Taking any issue to a heightened personal level
- Engage in illegal conversations
Then, there’s the fuzzy line drawing that drew considerable discussion recently. To what level can you criticize decisions made by the employer that you don’t agree with? Can you reach too far?
Unfortunately, we live in a time where people actively are challenging the line or, if you’re in a position of authority, go way beyond the the line. We’ve come to expect this level of social media use. Does it set a new level? Or does it reinforce the notion that we should stay clear of that line?
Or, maybe most importantly, perhaps social media isn’t the forum to have these discussions after all.