Rationale:

Providence Christian College (the ‘College’) realises that contemporary life requires adapting to ever changing methods of communication. The College has policies for appropriate use of Social Media by staff and students, and as part of the Providence Christian College community, parents of the College also have a responsibility to engage appropriately with Social Media that is linked to the College. To this end, the College has developed the following guidelines to provide direction for parents when participating in Social Media activities, eg: Classroom Blogs, the Providence Christian College Facebook page, emails or any other Social Media platform/s used by parents in connection with the College either directly, or indirectly in circumstances where the College, a parent, staff member and/or student of the College is identifiable.

Aims & Objectives:

The College encourages parents to:

  • Set and maintain high ethical standards in their use of social networking.
  • Be respectful of the opinions of others. Your posts and comments should help build and support the College community.
  • Ensure your online behaviour reflects the same standards of honesty, respect, and consideration that you use in face-to-face interactions, and be in accordance with the Christian ethos of the College.
  • Remember your role as a model for good digital citizenship to your children.

Definitions:

Social Media: Social Media comprises relatively inexpensive and accessible tools that enable anyone (even private individuals) to publish or access information. Social Media may include (although is not limited to): social networking sites (eg Facebook, Instagram); video and photo sharing websites (eg Youtube, Flickr, Vimeo); blogs, including corporate blogs and personal blogs; blogs hosted by media outlets (eg ‘comments’ or ‘your say’ feature on theage.com.au); microblogging (eg Twitter); wikis and online collaborations (eg Wikipedia); forums, e.g suburban forums, discussion boards and groups (eg Google groups, Whirlpool); vod and podcasting; online multiplayer gaming platforms (eg World of Warcraft, Second life); electronic messaging (including email and SMS); geo-spatial tagging (Foursquare).

General Guidelines:

The following guidelines apply:

  • You must adhere to the Terms of Use of the relevant Social Media platform/ website, as well as copyright, privacy, defamation, contempt of court, discrimination, harassment and other applicable laws and College policies;
  • You must ensure that you do not use or disclose any confidential information, post or respond to material that is offensive, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, bullying, discriminatory, hateful, racist, sexist, infringes copyright, constitutes a contempt of court, breaches a Court suppression order, or is otherwise unlawful;
  • Child protection protocols must always be observed;
  • Under no circumstances should disrespectful or offensive comments be made about staff, students, parents or the College in general. Parents are requested not to comment upon nor forward unsupported information, e.g. rumours concerning the College or comment or post material that might otherwise cause damage to the College’s or a staff member’s, or a student’s reputation, or bring it into disrepute;

It should be clearly understood that the College will not respond to anonymous emails or social media messages. All communications to the College should come from an identifiable source. Parents should refer to the Grievance Policy when deciding how to proceed with a grievance.

Social Media Policy – Parents

  • Be mindful that, by posting your comments and having online conversations etc. on social media sites you are broadcasting to the world. Even with the strictest privacy settings be aware that comments expressed via social networking pages under the impression of a ‘private conversation’ may still end up being shared into a more public domain, even with privacy settings on maximum;
  • Parents should never discuss sensitive College matters with other parents using Facebook, blogs and other social media outlets. As noted above, when posting, even on the strictest privacy settings, parents should act on the assumption that all postings are in the public domain;
  • The College’s anti-bullying and harassment policy/ies applies to activities which are both online and in the physical workplace;
  • Before posting photographs and/or videos, permission should be sought from the subject. This is especially the case where photographs and/or videos include parents of students and/or staff members of the College. No photographs of students of the College (with the exception of a parent/s own children and were approved by the relevant parent/s from time to time) are to be posted;
  • Keep in mind that College staff are strongly advised to carefully consider accepting invitations to or from parents to join Social Media sites;
  • If you come across positive or negative remarks about the College and/ or its operations online that you believe are important, you should pass the posts on to the Principal who will consider such comments on a case by case basis;
  • Be sure to correct any mistake you make immediately, and make clear what you have done to fix it. Apologize if the situation warrants it. If it’s a major mistake, eg reporting confidential information, let someone know immediately so the College can take the proper steps to help minimize any impact it may have.

COMPLIANCE/BREACH OF THIS POLICY

  • Depending on the circumstances, non-compliance with this policy may constitute a breach of laws relating to privacy, child protection, harassment or other related laws.
  • Depending on the circumstances, non-compliance with this policy may constitute a breach of your enrolment contractual obligation in supporting the College.