Social Media Position Statement-Activities

St. Francis Area Schools Activities Department Social Media Position Statement

St Francis Area Schools Activities Department recognizes and supports its student-athletes’ and coaches’ rights to freedom of speech, expression and association, including the use of social networks provided that it does not interfere with the work and discipline of the school or negatively impacts it’s programs. In this context, each student-athlete and coach must remember that participating and competing for St Francis Area Schools is a privilege, not a right and that social media usage is not governed by time or location. The student-athlete and coach each represent St Francis High School and St Francis Area Schools, and therefore, they are expected to portray themselves, their teams, and their high school in a positive manner at all times. Any online postings must be consistent with federal and state laws, as well as team, school, and St Francis Area Schools rules and regulations (including those listed below and in the student handbook).

Students, Parents and Guardians:

Students in violation of MSHSL Bylaw 206.00 are subject to consequences to be determined by the administration, principal and/or Activities Director.

The Minnesota State High School League Student Code of Responsibilities, Bylaw 206.00, is applicable and relevant in all student related issues and concerns in such matters.

Specifically prohibited behaviors include but are not limited to the posting or re-communication of:

  • Sexually explicit, profane, lewd, indecent, illegal, or defamatory language/actions.
  • Derogatory language regarding school personnel, other students our community at-large, and representatives of other schools.
  • Negative comments or comments designed to threaten, harass or bully students or school personnel.
  • Nude, sexually-oriented, or indecent photos, images or altered pictures.
  • Distribution and possession of unauthorized videos and photos or statements depicting violence; hazing; sexual harassment and content; vandalism, stalking; underage drinking, selling, possessing, or using controlled substances; or any other inappropriate behaviors. 
  • Creating a serious danger to the safety of another person or making a credible threat of serious physical or emotional injury to another person. 
  • Indicating knowledge of an unreported felonies, crimes, thefts or damage to property or unethical behavior. 
  • Indicating knowledge of an unreported school or team violation—regardless if the violation was unintentional or intentional.

Also prohibited are all on-campus connections to off-campus violations of the policy, including but not limited to:

  • Use of school computers to view off-campus postings.
  • Students accessing posts at school on their own devices.
  • Distribution of hard copies of posts on school property.
  • Re-communication on campus of the content of the posts.
  • Any use of technology that significantly disrupts or interferes with the educational process and/or learning environment.

Guidelines for Students:

These guidelines are intended to provide a framework for students to conduct themselves safely and responsibly in an on-line environment.  As a student in St. Francis activities you should:

  1. Be careful with how much and what kind of identifying information you post on social networking sites. Virtually anyone with an email address can access your personal page. It is unwise to make available information such a full date of birth, social security number, address, phone number, cell phone numbers, class schedules, bank account information, or details about your daily routine. All of these can facilitate identity theft or stalking. Social Media sites provide numerous privacy settings for information contained in its pages. Use these settings to protect private information. However, once posted, remember the information becomes property of the website and public record.
  2. Be aware that community members, family and potential current and future employers and college admissions offices often access information you place on on-line social networking sites. You should think about any information you post on sites or similar directories that potentially portrays an image of you to a prospective employer or school. The information is considered public information. Protect yourself by maintaining a self-image that you can be proud of years from now. 
  3. Be careful in responding to unsolicited emails asking for passwords or PIN numbers. Reputable businesses do not ask for this information in emails. 
  4. Don’t have a false sense of security about your rights to freedom of speech when using Social Media. Understand that freedom of speech is not unlimited. The on-line social network sites are NOT a place where you can say and do whatever you want without repercussions or personal accountability. 
  5. Remember photos once put on the social network site’s server become their property and public record.  You may delete the photo from your profile but it still stays on their server.  Internet search engines like “Google” or “Yahoo” may still find that image long after you have deleted it from your profile.  Think long and hard about what type of photo you want to represent you. 
  6. Whoever is the “adult” (over 18) responsible for the contracts, computers, phone lines, etc…is liable (civil and criminal) for your actions as a minor as well.

One of the biggest lessons social network users can learn is that anything you post online enters the public record. You never know who may be looking and when.