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District Programs and Operational Information » PASD Social Media Guidelines

PASD Social Media Guidelines


475 Beyer Avenue, Punxsutawney, PA 15767

Phone (814) 938-5151   Fax (814) 938-6677

Guidelines for Use of Social Media

What is the purpose of these guidelines?

The Punxsutawney Area School District is venturing into the world of social media as a means of enhancing communication with all stakeholders in our learning community.  Our District recognizes the benefits of engaging parents, guardians, students, staff, and community members through the use of current, external social media tools. Primarily, the District will use an official account with services such as Twitter and Facebook to solely distribute relevant information,announcements, links, images, and video to the public.  When retweeting, sharing or otherwise reposting information distributed from one of the District’s social media accounts, users may not alter the original message/content in any way.  If the District finds a need for community input via an open dialogue and requests community members and other stakeholders to engage in such communication, all users must agree to the guidelines outlined in this document.  Comments made by public users on District social media accounts are reviewed and the District reserves the right to remove any content that violates the guidelines described in this document.     

The purpose of this document is to provide the Punxustawney Area School District learning community with guidelines for safe,appropriate and effective use of social media tools pertaining to the use ofand interaction with social media accounts approved and maintained by the District.  Much of the information in this document is adapted with permission from material previously produced by the Salisbury Township School District and is being used under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 United States License. The Punxsutawney Area School District reserves the right to amend these guidelines at any time. 

What is social media?

In the 21st Century, social media is a term used to describe websites and tools used to network and communicate in an online community forum where users can openly share their ideas,information, photos, videos, and other content. Social media includes, but is not limited to, Facebook, MySpace, Ning,Twitter, Pinterest, Second Life, YouTube, blogs, wikis, social bookmarking,document sharing and email.

Commenting on PASD Social Media Sites

Communicating with the District through social media enables users to share ideas in a direct and meaningful way.  In general,the District’s social media pages may disable the public commenting functions;however, in the event that public comments are welcomed or encouraged, users who engage in that communication are agreeing to the following guidelines:

  • Comments should be related to the posted topic for the District’s social media page or post.  PASD social media accounts are not meant for comments that do not directly relate to the purpose or topic of the social media website.
  • Users are subject to the Terms of Service (TOS) of the host site (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.).  Information and content (links, photos, videos, etc.) you share with or post to official PASD pages is also subject to the TOS of the host site and may be used by the owners of the host site for their own purposes.  For more information, consult the host website’s TOS.
  • PASD social media accounts are not open to comments promoting or opposing any person campaigning for election to a political offices (including School Board), or promotion or advertisement of a business or commercial transaction.
  • The use of obscene, threatening, or harassing language is prohibited. 
  • Personal attacks of any kind or offensive comments that target or disparage any ethnic, racial, age, or religious group, gender, sexual orientation, or disability status are prohibited. 
  • Comments advocating illegal activity or posting of material that violates copyrights or trademarks of others are prohibited.     


General Guidelines for Using Social Media

Below are general guidelines for use of social media, especially as it pertains to interacting with the official Punxsutawney Area School District presence on Twitter,Facebook, or other social media services. The Punxsutawney Area School District recognizes the benefits of engaging parents, community members, students, and staff through currently popular social media tools.  In order to promote a safe and effective online environment when engaging with the District over social media, all users are expected to adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Be Transparent.  How you represent yourself online is an extension of who you are. Do not misrepresent yourself by using someone else's identity or misrepresenting your own identity. Be honest about who you are, where you work and what you do. Always be aware of who you represent (other than just yourself); that is, write in the first person and make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of the District or other organizations.  Be aware of what you post online. Social media venues are very public. What you contribute leaves a digital footprint for all to see.
  2. Be Respectful and Represent Your School’s Values.  Any staff member, student, parent, or community member using social media to follow or otherwise interact with the District’s social media presence is expected to represent the District’s values in their interactions with District social media sites.  Express ideas and opinions in a respectful manner.  All communication should be done in good taste.  Under no circumstances should offensive comments be made about students, staff, administrators, and other members of the learning community or the District in general. Negative comments about individuals may be classified as cyber-bullying.  Your posts and comments should help build and support the school community. Do not comment on or forward unsupported information (i.e. rumors). You are responsible for what you post, so be certain it is accurate and supports the school and District.  Carefully consider the avatar or profile picture that you select.  Follow the school's code of conduct when representing yourself in an online interaction with District social media.  For more information, consult your school’s handbook and policies. 
  3. Adhere to Copyright and Fair Use.  Do not use other people's intellectual property without their permission.  It is a violation of copyright law to copy and paste other's thoughts without proper attribution.  When paraphrasing another's idea(s) be sure to cite your source with at least the originator’s URL.  Share what others have said by linking to the source and using embedded content.  Be sure to cite your source when quoting.  When using a hyperlink, confirm the link goes where it should and that the content is school-appropriate.
  4. Avoid Confidential Information.  Online postings and conversations are not private. When using social media, do not share confidential information whether it is internal school discussions or specific information about students or staff.  What you post will be seen by others and will be online for an undetermined amount of time.  It can be forwarded or shared in just a few clicks.  Do not write about individuals without their permission.
  5. Posting Photos, Movies, and Other Content.  Do not use any school logo or image without permission.  Do not post photos or movies of individuals without their permission. Do not use photos or movies taken at school without permission. Do not post photos or movies that contain students without parent consent.