Volusia County to vote on social media policy for teachers

The Volusia County School Board is set to finalize a new social media policy -- and all teachers will have to follow it. A vote on the policy is expected Tuesday afternoon.

Officials say these guidelines are meant to help cut down on misinformation posted online.

They say they want information to be posted on channels run by the district, but the Teachers Union has some concerns about the guidelines.

In a statement, Volusia County schools says: 

We have seen examples of misinformation being spread through social media (via accounts not operated by VCS) during the COVID pandemic. It is important that the district’s information be handled through official channels.

The Teachers Union worries this is a reaction to teachers criticizing the district’s response to the pandemic.

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"Parents have a right to know what’s going on in the schools and so do the professionals that work in them," said Elizabeth Albert, President of the Volusia United Educators. "And it’s unfortunate since those communications aren’t occurring, we’ve seen this uptick in social media and now we have a punitive reaction from the employer."

The proposed policy says an employee could be fired for using social media inappropriately, talking specifically about personal accounts whether employees are using real names.

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School Board member Ruben Colon says it’s a way to protect everyone.

"We are held to a higher standard and what we do in our personal lives can also roll over into our professional lives."

The district already has established guidelines, but on Tuesday, it is voting on a formal policy.