Dear Editor:

Though I have no expectation of privacy as I pen my words for the public eye, I do have a right to privacy in my personal electronic communications. A right most people would expect.

Not so, if you read the current Rocky Mountain School District (SD6) proposed Social Media Policy (Policy 6200). As I understand, it gives the school district the right to review any and all personal electronic communications of educators. It prevents parental supervision of social media, if that parent is also a teacher. It states that breaches in the policy can result in termination. It fails to include any process by which this unfolds, and no allegation is necessary. Despite some legitimate and much needed clarity, it simply goes too far.

Although it is standard in this electronic age for organizations to have a social media policy, I assure you a quick Google search reveals that the proposed SD6 Policy 6200 is not standard in its content.

It is my opinion that this proposed policy would contribute to a culture of mistrust, and is an infringement on the personal autonomy of our educators. I feel strongly that a culture of mistrust threatens the quality of education that can be delivered. Perhaps I am utopic, but I believe it is possible to develop a culture of education that fosters inquiry, respect, passion, trust and love for educators and students.

To our educators: Have you received an independent legal opinion of the implications of this policy? Advocate for your autonomy in your personal electronic communications.

To members of the community: Please read this policy, and participate in the discussion. Our children, and the culture in which they are educated depend on it.

To the policy makers: Please consider revisions to liberate the personal autonomy of the teachers, while clarifying expectations in the online community to require digital citizenship.

Julie Brown