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The ATPE Podcast: Social Media Behavior for Educators

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 11/16/2023

As the popularity of social networking has grown, so too has the potential for its misuse. As an educator, you are held to a high standard of conduct, even when you are engaging with social media platforms outside of school, and expecting teachers not to use social networking is not realistic or fair. There are many educational benefits to engaging with these platforms as well.
With all the issues educators encounter in this digital space, it is important to know what social media behavior is considered appropriate and what can get you into trouble, as there can be a fine line between exercising your constitutional right to free speech and violating your district’s policies. So how do educators navigate the intersection between their personal lives and their workplaces when online? Can you share your opinion about politics or district policies? And under what circumstances should an educator “friend” or “follow” their students on a personal social media account?
In this episode of The ATPE Podcast, ATPE Staff Attorney Jeff Kelly reveals how educators can avoid violating the law and running afoul of district policies when using social media.
The legal information provided here is accurate as of the date of publication. It is provided here for informative purposes only. Individual legal situations vary greatly, and readers needing individual legal advice should consult directly with an attorney. Please note: Rights based on the Texas Education Code may not apply to all. Many Texas Education Code provisions do not apply to public charter schools, and public school districts may have opted out of individual provisions through a District of Innovation plan. Eligible ATPE members may contact the ATPE Member Legal Services Department.