Employee Personal Use of Technology
This section applies to all employees of the District when on District property and at school related events and activities.
Acceptable and Unacceptable Personal Use of Technology on District Property and at Related Events and Activities
District employees may bring personal technology on District property and to school related events and activities and may keep such technology powered on.
Any use of technology for personal purposes at school or related events or activities must comply with the parameters of Policy 9:00 Acceptable Use of the Districts Electronic Resources, 9:30 Internet Publications and District Social Media and all other District policies, administrative procedures, handbooks and guidelines governing use of the District’s electronic resources, and must not be in a manner that adversely affects or reasonably could be foreseen to adversely affect an employee’s job performance, the performance of others, members of the District community, or the ability of the District to provide efficient services or conduct its business operations.
Personal Communications with Members of the District Community
Employees are prohibited from using technology to communicate with a student for personal purposes if they do not have a legitimate independent relationship with the student. Examples of a legitimate independent relationship include a familial relationship or pre-existing relationship through an outside organization such as a religious house of worship. This prohibition includes communicating with students through electronic mail, personal messaging programs or text messaging, and “friending” or “following” students’ social media profiles for personal purposes. If an employee has any doubt about whether a legitimate independent relationship justifies an exception to this prohibition, the employee is expected to speak with the Superintendent or Building Principal regarding the relationship prior to deviating from this prohibition.
How an employee otherwise uses technology to communicate with other members of the District community for personal purposes is within his or her own discretion. In general, what employees do on their own time is their affair. However, activities outside of work that may adversely affect an employee’s job performance, the performance of others, members of the District community, or the ability of the District to provide efficient services or conduct its business operations may be the subject of discipline. Employees are strongly encouraged to take steps to strictly control the privacy of their online activity, although such measures may not prevent the imposition of discipline.
Photos of students cannot be posted without clear permission of the student’s parent or guardian. Staff should avoid posting photos of students on personal social media.
Usage and Conduct
All District employees who use personal technology and social media shall:
Adhere to the high standards for appropriate school relationships required by policy 5:120, Employee Ethics; Conduct; and Conflict of Interest, at all times, regardless of the ever-changing social media and personal technology platforms available. This includes District employees posting images or private information about themselves or others in a manner readily accessible to students and other employees that is inappropriate as defined by policy 5:20, Workplace Harassment Prohibited; 5:100, Staff Development Program; 5:120, Employee Ethics; Conduct; and Conflict of Interest; 9:00, Acceptable Use of District Electronic Resources; 7:20, Harassment of Students Prohibited; and the Ill. Code of Educator Ethics, 23 Ill.Admin.Code §22.20.
Choose a District-provided or supported method whenever possible to communicate with students and their parents/guardians.
Not interfere with or disrupt the educational or working environment, or the delivery of education or educational support services.
Comply with policy 5:130, Responsibilities Concerning Internal Information. This means that personal technology and social media may not be used to share, publish, or transmit information about or images of students and/or District employees without proper approval. For District employees, proper approval may include implied consent under the circumstances.
Refrain from using the District’s logos without permission and follow Board policy 5:170, Copyright, and all District copyright compliance procedures.
Disclaimer, Limitation of Liability, and Indemnification
An employee who uses personal technology for personal purposes on District property, at school related events or activities, or with members of the District community, agrees by such use to assume all risks associated with such use, including the risk that students may view or gain access to inappropriate material through the employee’s personal technology or that suspicions may arise regarding the nature of a relationship between and employee and a student. Unless the employee is using personal technology to access the District’s Internet services, filters may not necessarily be in place to control or monitor use of an employee’s technology. It is thus the employee’s responsibility to prevent any risks associated with the use of personal technology. An employee will be responsible to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend the District, to the extent allowed by law, for any use of technology for personal purposes, on District property, at school-related events or activities, or with members of the District community that violates this policy, any other District policy, or any relevant law.
LEGAL REF.: 105 ILCS 5/21B-75 and 5/21B-80.
Ill. Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/5A-102.
Code of Ethics for Ill. Educators, 23 Ill.Admin.Code §22.20.
CROSS REF.: 5:20 (Workplace Harassment Prohibited), 5:30 (Hiring Process and Criteria), 5:100 (Staff Development Program), 5:120 (Ethics and Conduct), 5:130 (Responsibilities Concerning Internal Information), 5:150 (Personnel Records), 5:170 (Copyright), 5:200 (Terms and Conditions of Employment and Dismissal), 6:235 (Access to Electronic Networks), 7:20 (Harassment of Students Prohibited), 9:00 (Acceptable Use of the District’s Electronic Resources)
Reviewed: December 8, 2014, June 27, 2016, January 23, 2017, December 13, 2021Adopted: January 12, 2015
Revisions Adopted: August 1, 2016, February 6, 2017, January 22, 2022