Social Media

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School leaders are taking steps to make social media a safer place for students.

Over the past several years, Red Wing School District’s social media platforms -- including YouTube and Facebook -- have been bombarded with inappropriate public comments. 

In response, Anne Robertson, communications manager, and her team have drafted a policy that outlines prohibited content for the comment section.

“We want [social media] to be a safe place for kids to go and see their things are celebrated,” Robertson said.

During Monday night’s School Board meeting, Robertson presented the policy’s first draft and most agreed that it was a good solution to a difficult problem.

Board Vice Chair Jim Bryant explained that he doesn’t have social media himself, but he knows that people need to be careful about what they post online.

“[Posts] can stay with you for a long time,” Bryant said.

Past inappropriate comments have included opinions on COVID-19, profanity, abusive language, political agendas, discriminatory behavior and more.

To reduce these comments, the Social Media Policy lists all conduct that will be barred from district platforms.

Prohibited content:

  • Cyberbullying, harassment or personal attacks of any kind

  • Comments that demean an individual or group, including comments that are discriminatory or offensive on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity

  • Comments that are abusive, profane, obscene or promote violence

  • Comments that contain false information or are off-topic

  • Comments that incite, threaten or make ad hominem attacks on students, employees, guests or other individuals

  • Comments of a personal or private nature, including complaints or concerns about specific students or employees. Such concerns should be directed to the appropriate school officials.

  • Messages selling products or promoting commercial or other ventures

  • Messages promoting non-school events

  • Messages campaigning or advocating for political offices or ballot initiatives

Once the policy is enacted, comments that are deemed to include prohibited content will be deleted, hidden or marked as spam.

Superintendent Karsten Anderson, Robertson and other leaders will further discuss the policy and bring forth a final version to the board for approval at a later date.

(1) comment

Joan Halgren

This proposed school policy comes at a prescient time as Facebook is being closely scrutinized by our national lawmakers; plus, parents please note that Instagram is included in this investigation as part of the Facebook empire. Also, whistleblower Frances Haugen's revelations over the past few days about how Facebook operates are to be applauded since they can help modify practices harmful, particularly, to young people, democracy and our national security.

I look forward to learning more about how our local proposal fares over the coming weeks: It seems very promising, and can help people thrive better without having to heal from emotional wounds.

Welcome to the discussion.

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Email questions to darkin@orourkemediagroup.com.

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