APS launches new social media policy

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Public School District has a new policy on social media.

“If you are to post something about someone that’s hurtful, you should get in trouble for it,” Estevan Hernandez said.

A Rio Grande High School teacher was suspended last year after what she wrote on Facebook, “Furious! This teacher is going to kill some children tomorrow.”

Former APS Superintendent Winston Brooks got in a lot of trouble last fall for his controversial Twitter comments about Education Secretary Hanna Skandera.

“If you’re like talking crap about someone or just acting up, you should be held responsible,” Michael Charles said.

APS wants to make it clear, if you wouldn’t say it in person don’t say it online.

“Discipline options are the same for inappropriate behavior online or in person,” APS Communications Director, Monica Armenta said.

A new social media policy is now part of the district’s handbook. The guidelines are easy, if you use social media to disrupt the school day, you could get in trouble.

All users should use the computers in a responsible, ethical and polite manner. That means at school and at home. And that includes teachers:

“We will do online training with staff once a year,” Armenta said.

APS says it’s spent four years working on a new social media policy, but after the superintendent incident it formed a task force to help craft the policy.

“A lot of this is being written as it happens but the point of this was to give some clarification and make sure people understood that our expectations of them are the same online as they would be in person,” Armenta said.

Students have to sign and return an agreement saying they know the rules when it comes to social media.

Punishment will depend on what you said. Brooks was suspended three days ago without pay.

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