FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, YOUTUBE AND BLOGGING: HOW TO MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA IN SCHOOLS - LAWWORKS Education Law Institute

 
FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, YOUTUBE AND BLOGGING: HOW TO MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA IN SCHOOLS - LAWWORKS Education Law Institute
FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, YOUTUBE
AND BLOGGING: HOW TO MANAGE
   SOCIAL MEDIA IN SCHOOLS

                   LAWWORKS
               Education Law Institute

                    September 23, 2011

Eric M. Roher
Partner
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
John Chasty
Superintendent of Education
Toronto District School Board
FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, YOUTUBE AND BLOGGING: HOW TO MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA IN SCHOOLS - LAWWORKS Education Law Institute
A hacker broke into your computer and in an act
of random kindness gave you a few more friends
                 on Facebook.

                                                   2
FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, YOUTUBE AND BLOGGING: HOW TO MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA IN SCHOOLS - LAWWORKS Education Law Institute
If you want to see Michael s mother s response to
  his suspension, check out my YouTube video.

                                                    3
FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, YOUTUBE AND BLOGGING: HOW TO MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA IN SCHOOLS - LAWWORKS Education Law Institute
Dramatic Changes in Social Computing

q   More and more students and school board
     employees are choosing to create or participate
     in a:
      w   blog
      w   wiki
      w   online social network
      w   online discussion
      w   website

                                                       4
FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, YOUTUBE AND BLOGGING: HOW TO MANAGE SOCIAL MEDIA IN SCHOOLS - LAWWORKS Education Law Institute
Social Media – Current Trends

q   Facebook
q   Twitter
q   MySpace
q   LinkedIn
q   Personal blogs
q   Personal websites
q   YouTube

                                5
Social Media - Characteristics

q   Largely public
q   Easy access
q   Instantaneous
q   Addictive
q   Social Networking
q   Empowering

                                 6
7
Facebook.com - History

q   Launched on February 4, 2004 at Harvard
     University by Mark Zuckerberg.
q   Within two weeks, one-half Harvard student
     body were members.
q   By May 30th, other universities were included
     i.e. Stanford and Yale.
q   On September 13, 2006, Facebook was
     opened to everyone over 13 with a valid e-
     mail address.

                                                     8
Facebook.com – History (cont’d)

q   As of July 2011, 750 million user worldwide.
q   Facebook currently valued at $76 billion.
q   Zuckerberg has personal worth of $15 billion.

* Facebook removes approximately 20,000
  profiles everyday for various infractions, e.g.,
  spam, inappropriate content, underage use.
                                                     9
Facebook.com – Social Phenomenon

q   Online user profiles with photos, interests,
     contacts and other personal information.
q   Users can upload pictures, videos, send
     comments and view comments left by others.
q   Users have friends.
q   Can create a wall for open discussion and
     dialogue.
q   Includes privacy settings.

                                                    10
Twitter - History

q   Started in 2006 by Jack Dorsey.
q   200 million registered users who post 110 million
     tweets per day.
q   Currently valued at $7.7 billion.

                                                         11
Twitter – Social Phenomenon

q   Online social networking tool and micro-blogging
     platform.
q   Tweets up to 140 characters; no pictures.
q   Twitters direct their musings to groups of users
     who follow them.
q   Content takes the form of lifestreams , random
     thoughts.

                                                        12
Blogs

q   Website that contains an online personal journal
     with reflections, comments and hyperlinks
     provided by the writer.
q   May include pictures and videos.

                                                        13
YouTube

q   Downloading of videos.
q   Many taken from camera phones.
q   Videos in the education context have included:
      w   Student fights
      w   Gym change room
      w   Washrooms
      w   Angry teacher in the classroom
      w   Student dancing at school dance.

                                                      14
YouTube

q   Eight Florida teenagers, six of them girls, lured a
     16-year-old girl in a house and beat her.
q   This was retribution for a girl-versus-girl dispute.
q   While in progress, they filmed this dreadful
     attack and posted it on YouTube.

                                                            15
Ontario Education Act – February 1,
2008

  A principal shall consider whether to suspend
  if he or she believes that the pupil has
  engaged in any of the following activities while
  at school, at a school-related activity or in
  other circumstances where engaging in the
  activity will have an impact on the school
  climate.

                                                     16
School Climate – PPM 145

q    A sum total of all personal relationships within a
     school.
q   When these relationships are founded on mutual
     acceptance and inclusion, a culture of respect
     becomes the norm.
q   A positive climate exists when all members of
     the school community feel safe, comfortable and
     accepted.

                                                       17
What about off-school conduct?

q   Is there a direct and causal link between the
     students’ conduct and a definitive impact on the
     school climate?
q   Does the conduct create a material or substantial
     disruption in the school?
q   Does the conduct create a poisonous environment
     in the school?

                                                        18
Impact on the School Climate

q   Students are afraid to come to school.
q   Students worried about reprisal or retaliation.
q   Parents are complaining about disruption to
     school environment.
q   School staff are worried about their physical or
     emotional well-being and safety.
q   School community is traumatized by events.

                                                        19
What is Cyberbullying?

q   Bullying that occurs through the use of
     information and communication technologies.
q   For example, spreading rumours or hurtful
     images or comments by means of email or text
     messaging or on social media or personal
     websites.

                                                    20
Bullying is defined as:

q   A form of repeated, persistent, and aggressive
     behaviour directed at an individual or individuals
     that is intended to cause distress and/or harm to
     another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, or
     reputation.
q   Bullying occurs in a context where there is a real
     or perceived power imbalance.

                                                          21
R.T. v. Durham Catholic District School
Board

q   Child and Family Services Review Board.
q   Released on November 21, 2008.
q   Mrs. R.T. was the mother of V.K., 13-year-old
     female student in Grade 8.
q   In January 2008, on Facebook there were
     comments made by a number of Grade 8
     students.

                                                     22
R.T. v. Durham Catholic District School
Board (cont d)
q   V.K. wrote to victim:
      U DON T WANT ME TO GET MAD BECAUSE
     THE ILL KILL YOU RIGHT IN UR SLEEP OR
     SCHOOL ON MONDAY.
      I am gonna come to school on Monday and
     kick ur ass. im gonna kill u. ok? ok!
q   Victim s father informed the Vice-Principal that
     he was concerned about his daughter s safety.

                                                        23
R.T. v. Durham Catholic District School
Board (cont d)

q   Victim s father told Vice-Principal that he had
     already contacted the police and Facebook.
q   Facebook closed V.K s account three times,
     which she re-opened.
q   Victim has trouble sleeping; she felt isolated; she
     was afraid for herself and her family.

                                                       24
R.T. v. Durham Catholic District School
Board (cont d)

q   Victim was closing the blinds at home; always
     watching over her shoulder.
q   Victim s sister, a student at the school, was
     negatively impacted by the threats.
q   The principal recommended that V.K. be
     expelled from all schools of the Board.
q   In May 2008, the School Board s Expulsion
     Hearing Committee expelled V.K. from her
     school only.

                                                     25
R.T. v. Durham Catholic District School
Board (cont d)

Issues:
q   Did this infraction affect the school climate?
q   Should V.K. be expelled from her school?

                                                      26
R.T. v. Durham Catholic District School
Board (cont d)

Review Board Held: Yes!
q   V.K. used Facebook to send emails, to
     impersonate some students and to make death
     threats.
q   The actions of the student were extremely
     serious and it would have been impossible for
     the student to return to her home school.
q    The climate of the school would have been
     seriously affected.

                                                     27
R.T. v. Durham Catholic District School
Board (cont d)

The Review Board ruled:
q    The fear of significant harm generated by the
     Facebook communications and the subsequent
     knowledge that this was committed by one of the
     pupils of the school leads the Board to find the
     school climate was negatively impacted.
q   There is no evidence to indicate that V.K. did not
     have the ability to control her behaviour.

                                                          28
Robert F. Hall Incident

q   Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School
q   January, 2007
q   Student members of Facebook made
     derogatory, demeaning and sexually explicit
     comments about the Principal.
q   Student names and dates set out in Facebook
     site.

                                                   29
Robert F. Hall Incident (cont d)

q   19 male and female students were suspended.
q   Suspended for three to eight days.
q   They blamed principal for banning personal
     electronic devices and uniform policies.
q   Front page story in Toronto Star on February 12,
     2007.

                                                        30
Robert F. Hall Incident (cont d)

Catholic Code of Conduct provides:

    Using computer technology to communicate
  inappropriate, demeaning, harassing or
  threatening messages shall be subject to
  disciplinary action. Police may be contacted.

                                                  31
Robert F. Hall Incident (cont d)

q   Mailing to all Parents/Guardians from
     Superintendent of Education.
q   Confirmation that student actions can have
     ramifications at school.
q   Arranging for a leading expert on bullying to lead
     a school-wide presentation on cyberbullying.
q   Confirmation that Facebook, YouTube and
     MySpace are not permitted at school.

                                                      32
The Challenge

 “The challenge is to draw the line in a
 way that promotes robust but respectful
 discourse, and allows free expression
 short of abusive speech.”

                 Prof. A. Wayne MacKay

                                           33
Freedom of Expression

  Section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights
  and Freedoms, guarantees to everyone the
  “fundamental freedoms” of:
      “thought, belief, opinion and experience,
     including freedom of the press and
     other media communication.”

                                                   34
Section 1 of the Charter provides:

  The Charter guarantees the rights and freedoms
  set out in it subject to such reasonable limits
  prescribed by law as can be demonstrably
  justified in a free and democratic society.

                                                    35
Striking the Balance

q   In determining whether school officials can
     impose restraints on constitutionally protected
     free speech, these responsibilities must be
     balanced with the rights of students.

                                                       36
When can a School Official Impose
Restraints on a Student’s Speech:

q   Hate or abusive language i.e. racist, anti- semitic
     or homophobic comments.
q   Material or substantial disruption in the school.
q   Creates a poisonous environment in the school.
q   Must have an impact on the school climate.

                                                           37
How is Cyberbullying different from
other forms of bullying?

q   Cyberbullies hide behind the anonymity of the
     Internet.
q   Communicate with remarkable speed.
q   Cyberbullies do not fear being punished for their
     actions.
q   Believe they are outside the legal reach of
     schools and school boards.

                                                         38
Conducting an Investigation

q   Meet with the victim of a cyberbullying and his/
     her parents.
q   Try to get as many details as possible.
q   Ask open-ended, non-judgmental questions.
q   Determine the history or background of events.

                                                        39
Conducting an Investigation (cont d)

q   Determine whether this was an isolated incident
     or an ongoing incident.
q   Determine the date and time the incident
     occurred.
q   Determine whether the student has any fear in
     coming to school.
q   Ask the student if he or she knows or suspects
     that there are other victims.

                                                       40
Victims of Cyberbullying should be
encouraged to:

q   Do not reply to messages from cyberbullies.
q   Do not erase or delete messages. E-mails can
     be traced to a specific computer.
q   Make copies of all messages and pictures.
q   Do not be a digital bystander. If you know
     people are being hurt, let them know you
     support them.

                                                    41
Advice to Students and Parents

q   Save the following:
      w   E-mail addresses
      w   Date and time received
      w   Copies of relevant e-mail, with full headers
      w   Nickname of offending person
      w   Name and URL of chat room

                                                          42
If the Cyberbullying is threatening:

q   Change your e-mail address, account,
     username or phone number.
q   File a detailed complaint with the school.
q   File a complaint with the Website, Internet
     provider or cell phone company.
q   Contact the police if conduct appears to be
     criminal.

                                                   43
What Schools Can Do

q   Amend anti-bullying policies to include text
     messaging, cell phone use and on-line bullying.
q   Educate teachers, students and parents about
     the seriousness of cyberbullying.
q   Where appropriate, enlist the support of your IT
     department or IT professional.

                                                        44
What Students Need to Know

q   A rule of thumb in sending any social media
     message is nothing is private .
q   If images or words were never created, they
     cannot be distributed.
q   Students should be taught how to manage their
     electronic reputations.

                                                     45
Social Media in the Employment
Context

q   Participating in a public forum can impact the
     employment relationship:
      w   Postings may threaten the employer s reputation.
      w   Postings may amount to insubordination.
      w   Posting may breach the employee s duty of good
           faith and fidelity towards the employer.

                                                              46
Social Media in the Employment
Context (cont d)

   w   Postings may breach privacy or confidentiality rights
        of others in the workplace.
   w   Postings may negatively impact working
        relationships.
   w    Time Theft - use of social media for personal
        reasons on work time using school resources.
   w   Employers can be vicariously liable for the
        misdeeds of staff.

                                                                47
Blog-related Terminations

q   Meet Ellen Simonetti
q   She had a blog
q   She was fired from Delta
     Air Lines in 2004
     because of pictures she
     posted on her blog
     (posing in her uniform)
q   Has since adapted her
     blog to a published book.

                                 48
Twitter-related Terminations

  Former MLB pitcher Mike Bacsik was fired
  from his radio hosting job for making a racist
  comment on Twitter after a Mavericks-Spurs
  game.

                                                   49
Facebook-related Terminations

  22-year-old waitress at Brixx Pizza in North
  Carolina was fired after writing, Thanks for
  eating at Brixx, you cheap piece of s---
  camper.
                                                 50
Facebook-related Termination of Benefits

q   Nathalie Blanchard was on
     leave from her job at IBM in
     Quebec for major
     depression.
q   Employer s insurance
     company cut monthly sick-
     leave benefits after viewing
     Facebook photos of
     Blanchard enjoying a
     birthday party, sun holiday,
     and a Chippendales bar
     show during her leave.
                                            51
OCT Professional Advisory - Use of
Electronic Communication and Social Media

q   Released in April 2011
q   Applies to OCT members, including those
     working in private and independent schools.
q   Advice on how best to use electronic
     communication and social media with students.

                                                     52
OCT Professional Advisory - Use of
Electronic Communication and Social Media
(cont d)

q   Social media encourages casual dialogue.
q   Innocent actions can easily be misconstrued or
     manipulated.
q   Professional boundaries can blur.
q   The dynamic between a teacher and student is
     forever changed when they become online
      friends .

                                                      53
OCT Professional Advisory - Use of
Electronic Communication and Social Media
(cont d)

q   Some behaviours that have been disciplined:
      w   Inappropriate electronic communication with
           students, colleagues, parents and others
      w   Sending sexual materials electronically to students
      w   Using school equipment to access pornography,
           including child pornography
      w   Luring students and non-students via the Internet

                                                                 54
OCT Professional Advisory – 4 Categories
of Advice to Members

1.   Interact with students appropriately.
2.   Understand privacy concerns .
3.   Act professionally.
4.   Important questions to ask yourself.

                                             55
1. Interact with Students Appropriately

q   Model the behaviour you expect from students.
q   Alert students to appropriate online behaviour.
q   Communicate with students at appropriate times
     of the day and through established education
     platforms.
q   Formal, courteous, professional tone.

                                                       56
1. Interact with Students Appropriately
   (cont d)

q   Do not exchange private texts, phone numbers,
     personal emails, or photos
q   Decline student friend requests and do not
     initiate friend requests to students
q   Notify parents before using social networks for
     classroom activities.

                                                       57
2. Understand Privacy Concerns

q   Operate online as a professional.
q   Manage privacy and security settings and check
     them regularly.
q   Assume all information you post can be
     accessed or altered.
q   Monitor and remove content that is
     inappropriate.

                                                      58
2. Understand Privacy Concerns (cont d)

q   Ask others not to tag photographs of you without
     your permission.
q   Ask others to remove undesirable content
     related to you.

                                                    59
3. Act Professionally

q   Consider whether a post will reflect poorly on
     you, the school, or the teaching profession.
q   Use your true identity at all times.
q   Avoid online criticism of students, staff, the
     school, and other stakeholders.
q   Avoid impulsive or heated comments.

                                                      60
3. Act Professionally (cont d)

q   Do not incite others to make unacceptable
     comments.
q   Respect the privacy and confidentiality of
     student information.
q   Follow your employer s policies, and exercise
     good judgment.

                                                     61
4. Important Questions to Ask Yourself

q   Am I using social media to enhance student
     learning, or to satisfy a personal need?
q   Am I sharing this information with a student for
     personal or professional reasons?
q   Is this picture or comment something I would be
     comfortable with students, parents, my
     supervisor, my family or the media seeing?

                                                        62
4. Important Questions to Ask Yourself
   (cont d)

q   Would my peers view my posting as reasonable
     and professional?
q   Would I communicate like this in my community?
q   Is my posting susceptible to misrepresentation
     or manipulation?
q   How does my online presence reflect on my
     professionalism and the teaching profession?

                                                      63
Food for Thought

  Social networking is like being at a party.
     Only a party where the whole world
        can access what you said and
            what you looked like.

                                                64
“Look, I’m not saying it’s going to be today.
 But someday - someday - you guys will be
  happy that you’ve taken along a lawyer.”

                                                65
q   4730320

               66
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