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Miami & Broward Schools Looking To Set Social Media Policy

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The social media revolution is already well underway, but now, Miami-Dade and Broward schools are coming to the realization that a social media policy may be needed for both teachers and students.

Miami-Dade school board member Raquel Regalado has requested that the district conduct a survey to come up with “a social media policy for the district.”

The new policy would be put together with the assistance of the school board attorney’s office. The policy will be attached to SB Policy 7540.04 which deals with staff network and internet acceptable use and safety.

“It’s a concern about the age of the users, who is using, and what they are posing,” Regalado said. “We want to ensure that a child who is 10-years-old may not know what is or may not be appropriate. That’s why we need guidelines.”

Some parents said having boundaries between teachers and students is a good idea.

“Some days I see beautiful things,” said mother of three Silvia Latimer. “Some days my jaw drops to the floor and I have to go question what they are doing on Facebook.”

“It’s not just privacy,” said grandparent Sherry Goodman. “There’s too much out there and they spend way too much time on this Facebook.”

Teachers union president Karen Aronowitz said there’s no need for a new policy.

“I think we have social media; it behooves us to use social media in order to connect with our students,” Aronowitz said. “The real issue is that we have a professional relationship with our students and that’s our code of ethics and that’s how teachers conduct themselves.”

There have been no incidents reported of improper use of social media between teachers and students in Miami-Dade County.

Regalado said it’s not about having a social media page; it’s about knowing how to use them properly.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a group of parents, students, and staff have already been working on a social media policy that deals with cyberbullying and establishes guidelines for what’s appropriate for discussion in virtual exchanges.

The Broward School Board was holding a workshop Tuesday to revamp technology policy to include tablet computers like an iPad, social media, and smartphones.

The board hasn’t set any restrictions or reporting requirements for school staff using social media sites to communicate with students.

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