Eastside Lutheran College (the College / ELC) aims to provide a caring community. Therefore, Christian beliefs govern the school life and the behaviour of the College community. All students are encouraged to live the two great commandments:
- Love the Lord your God wholeheartedly.
- Love your neighbour as yourself.
It is the College’s privilege to teach students a way of honouring God and His creation is through living our lives under His direction and control.
Eastside Lutheran College understands that social media is a common form of technology used by members of the College community to express their views, ideas, and comments on a range of issues.
The College Social Media Policy provides guidance for staff, students, and parents/guardians to meet the standards of the College community. The Policy and Guidelines also serve to protect the College community through clear protocols for the use of social media in professional and personal capacities.
This policy has been designed to protect all members of the College community and set standards of social media use that are consistent with the College’s values, mission, and vision.
The purpose of this policy is to outline the acceptable use of social media for all College community members.
This policy applies to all members of the College community including but not limited to Board members, staff, students, and parents/ guardians.
This policy is to be read in conjunction with the College Behaviour Management policy and the College Code of Conduct.
For the purpose of this policy, social media refers to all social networking sites, services and tools used in creating, publishing, sharing and discussing information. It includes, but is not limited to:
- social networking sites: Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn
- video and photo sharing websites: YouTube, Flickr, TikTok
- virtual game worlds: refers to all online gaming sites such as, but not limited to, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Roblox
- Instant Messaging: SMS, Messenger, Skype, Teams
- any other website that allows individual users or companies to use simple publishing tools
Other definitions are:
- Content: In the relation to social media content includes text, photos, videos, audio, etc, in both original posts and comments or responses.
- Official use: Use of social media when acting as an official representative of Eastside Lutheran College.
- Personal use: Use of social media not connected to College-related duties.
The law is continuously changing to meet the ever-evolving use of social media. It is important to acknowledge that inappropriate use of social media, can have real world legal consequences.
Example of Acts that may be associated with the use of social media:
- Anti-Discrimination Act 1998
- Criminal Code Act 1924
- Education Act 2016
- Personal Information Protection Act 2004
Copyright Act 1968
- Criminal Code Act 1995
- Fair Work Act 2009
- Privacy Act 1988
- Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979
SOCIAL MEDIA RISKS
The following are some of the major risks associated with the use of social media:
- damage to the reputation of the College or community member
- disclosure of confidential information / breach of privacy laws
- bullying, harassment or discrimination of a community member
- misuse of intellectual property
- breach of professional standards
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
All members of the College community are expected to show respect to themselves and others. When using Social Media, the members of the College community are expected to ensure that they:
- respect the rights and confidentiality of others
- do not impersonate or falsely represent others
- do not bully, harass, intimidate or threaten others
- do not make defamatory comments towards others
- do not use obscene or offensive language
- do not harm the reputation and good standing of the College or those within its community
- do not post content that is hateful, threatening, incites violence or is of pornographic nature
- do not make official use of social media unless authorised to do so.
AUTHORISED USE OF COLLEGE BRAND
Only employees who have been authorised by the College Principal may create social media identities, profiles or accounts that use the College’s name, logo or brand.
Employees authorised to use the College’s official social media platforms must:
- maintain a high standard of conduct and behaviour
- behave impartially and professionally
- disseminate information with concern for confidentiality
- uphold the College values
- while authorised employees are provided autonomy to represent their own views on personal social media platforms, there is occasion when content must be reviewed by Senior Leadership Team. This includes, but is not limited to, content which is associated with a project or activity which is deemed high risk or sensitive.
Senior Leadership Team is to:
- identify, develop and implement educational programs for students that cultivate ethical digital citizenship
- investigate any reports of bullying, harassment, or inappropriate posting on social media
- report any breaches of this policy to the Principal
- ensure this policy is understood by all community members
- monitor and evaluate this policy on a regular basis
STAFF AND THE ELC BOARD
Staff and Board members are to:
- use social media in accordance with relevant laws
- behave ethically when interacting online
- obtain approval before using the College logo or creating College accounts for official use
- ensure that information published on personal social media accounts does not imply it is endorsed by, or represents comment on behalf of the College.
- regularly review profile and privacy settings of social media sites to prevent disclosure of personal information
- report any inappropriate social media usage of College community members
- not interact with students via social media
- report instances of students trying to ‘friend’ them through social media sites. This step is to protect staff or Board members from allegations from students
- consider the privacy of students when posting online. Express permission must be obtained from parents and the College before posting images of students on College or personal accounts
- ensure personal use of social media does not interfere with the performance of professional duties.
- to respect the dignity and privacy of other members of the College community and are not to use social media for:
- posting, viewing, or distributing pornography, including sexting
- online harassment or bullying
- cyber stalking
- report any incident of the above to the Senior Leadership Team
- not share school password or username with others
- not post material that would cause disrepute or embarrassment for staff of the College, students or their families
- not post images of themselves or others in the College uniform
Parents are expected to set a good example for their child through:
- demonstrating courtesy and respect for staff, other parents, and the wider College community
- using appropriate language when discussing the College
- not making disrespectful or offensive comments about staff, students, parents, or the College
- not commenting on or forwarding unsupported information that may cause damage to the College or staff member
- not discussing sensitive College matters with other parents over social media
- addressing any concerns regarding the College directly with the Principal of Senior Leadership staff
It is the responsibility of the parents to monitor online activities of their children when they are not at the College.
BREACHES OF POLICY
Members of the College community who breach this policy will be investigated on a case-by-case basis by the Principal or Principal’s delegate.
All reports of bullying or other misuse of social media will be investigated. It is to be noted that illegal activities will be reported to the Police. This may include harassment of others, posting of, or sharing of, inappropriate images.
Students waive any right to privacy in anything that they create, store, send or receive on the College network or any electronic device that student brings to the College. If there are reasonable grounds to believe that Social Media sites may contain inappropriate material, or if it is believed that an electronic device has been used to share or distribute inappropriate content via social ELC Social Media Policy media, the device will be confiscated from the student.
Failure to comply with the College Social Media Policy may be grounds for disciplinary action which may lead to termination of employment for staff, removal from the Board for Board members, expulsion for students or termination of the College enrolment contractual agreement for parents.
REPORTING A BREACH
To report a breach of the College Social Media Policy, please refer to the College Complaints and Grievance Policy and Procedures available on the College Webpage or through the College Office.
Review Date: 2022