With the new school year about to begin, we wanted to fill you in on what you need to know about the electronic communication policy in your district.
As of March 1, 2012 all districts were required to create a policy addressing electronic communications (you can read more about it here). Although some schools implemented the new policies last year, not every school provided training. All districts should be putting together training on this policy for this school year.
If you don’t see any training on the schedule for this policy, ask your administrators to schedule one.
“It’s a very complicated policy and you really need to know how your school is going to administer it,” said MSTA senior staff attorney Vera Campfield. “The policies we’ve seen by Missouri School Boards Association and Missouri Consultants for Education require interpretation and you need to know how your school is going to interpret it”
Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the training. Make sure you completely understand how your administrators will interpret and enforce the policy. If you are comfortable, give specific situations, especially if you are concerned about violating the policy.
In addition to a copy of the policy for you to take with you, ideally, there should be a handout in the training to review the main points. If there isn’t one, ask for it. We encourage you to share the policies and handouts with us. You can send them to us directly (Aurora or Vera), or route it through your CTA president or field service coordinator. If you want to share it with our legal department anonymously, you can do so by fax 866-470-0916 or snail mail:
Missouri State Teachers Association
Legal Services Department
Attention: Vera Campfield
PO Box 458
407 S. Sixth Street
Columbia, MO 65205
If you have additional questions after you’ve received training and after asking your administrators, please don’t hesitate to contact us, particularly if you don’t feel like you are getting helpful answers.
Also, if you are concerned that your policy may restrict you, please contact us. We may have a different interpretation of your policy than your school district and there may be parts of the policy about which you want to ask questions.
We will keep you updated on this issue and look forward to hearing directly from you with your questions and concerns.