An Examination of Social Media Policy for Educators in the Commonwealth of Virginia


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Virginia Tech


This study investigated the presence and content of school policies used by Virginia school divisions to address issues arising from educators' use of social media. The study also explored Virginia school divisions' policy implementation practices and resolutions for educators' social media use issues. Survey response analysis and policy review are combined to define: 1) Virginia school divisions' experiences with educators' inappropriate use of social media, 2) how Virginia school divisions are addressing educators' social media dilemmas and 3) the characteristics of school policies used to address social media issues in Virginia.

The findings indicate that while 90% of respondents are concerned about the dilemmas created by educator social media use, 89% report having effective policies in place to address these issues. Responding Virginia school divisions are using Acceptable Use Policies (98%), Code of Conduct policies (54%) and Social Media policies (32%) to address educators' social media issues. The most common reported infractions are unprofessional comments. Most teachers sanctioned for online conduct are disciplined through reprimand (written and verbal) by school system administrators.



Teachers' Social Media Use, Teachers and Facebook, Social Media Policy, Teachers' Knowledge of Educational Law, Teachers' First Amendment Rights