ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) - Several southeastern Minnesota schools are following the lead of the Hayfield School District, which requires student-athletes to agree not to use social media to abuse classmates or sports rivals.
Since Hayfield implemented its policy late last year, four other Hiawatha Valley League school have gotten on board, including Kasson-Mantorville, Stewartville, Cannon Falls and Zumbrota-Mazeppa.
“We talk about bullying, and of course, that’s a big thing in the Legislature this session,” said Zumbrota-Mazeppa Superintendent Tony Simons, who continues to work on a policy that would encompass all students. “Social media is the one place, as administrators and schools, where we don’t have a lot of control, and those things come back to bite us.”
The policies outline punishments for students using social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, to abuse classmates or sports rivals. The policies also prohibit any photos or posts about alcohol, tobacco and drugs and bans racially or sexually explicit language. Penalties range from verbal warnings to suspensions. Some of the agreements require parental signatures, the Post-Bulletin (https://bit.ly/1epYCyF ) reported.
“If anything, the parents have been really supportive,” Cannon Falls Superintendent Beth Giese said. “If you or I would post something inappropriate, we could get fired for it. We’re really just trying to teach them a skill (so they don’t get) in trouble in the workplace.”
In February, a Rogers High School senior was suspended for two months for posting an inappropriate tweet regarding a female teacher.
Information from: Post-Bulletin, https://www.postbulletin.com
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