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Hen Hud Officials Eye New Social Media Policy

Hendrick Hudson School District officials are finalizing a new social media policy for the district.
Hendrick Hudson School District officials are finalizing a new social media policy for the district. Photo Credit: Jessica Glenza

MONTROSE, N.Y. – Hendrick Hudson schools faculty and staff would be discouraged from engaging community members on social media websites under a new policy being reviewed by the district's Board of Education.

The first draft of the policy reads: "Teachers and staff are strongly discouraged from engaging with parents or community members in an official capacity through personal social media sites. Teachers and staff should not engage with students enrolled in the [Hendrick Hudson School District] through social media sites."

Interim Superintendent Brian Monahan said at Wednesday evening's Board of Education meeting that policies usually undergo a first reading and can be adopted at the same meeting as the second reading. The policy could be adopted as soon as the next Board of Education meeting Jan. 23.

Board members said an outright ban on faculty and staff engaging with community members through social media would not be the right approach.

"We want to discourage it, but there are some First Amendment issues," board member Marion Walsh said.

The new policy also addresses the district's social media presence. "The district maintains a presence on social media sites as a way to share information and advance the district’s goal of enhancing communication with the community," reads the draft policy. "Information is included on those sites at the District’s sole discretion."

Monahan said he hopes the new policy also will discourage faculty and staff from sharing district business on social media platforms. He said this is not specifically stated in the current version of the policy.

The new policy is just two paragraphs long, and is an update to a policy formerly called "Distribution of Material to Students."

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