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Teachers must remain professional on social media

November 3, 2015 Gaylene Schreiber, ATA Secretary to Professional Conduct Committees

Pitfalls and Precautions

“Pitfalls and Precautions” is a series that aims to educate teachers on professional conduct issues by highlighting situations addressed by the ATA Professional Conduct Committee. The committee dealt with the following case during the 2014/15 school year. Watch for further instalments in future issues of the ATA News.

Despite having recently attended an inservice on the professional use of social media, a teacher posted a comment via his social media account that seemed to mock the content of the session he was then attending at teachers’ convention, noting that he was getting paid for the day. The teacher had a social media following that numbered in the hundreds, some of whom were parents. A parent brought the comment to the attention of the school division superintendent.

The Professional Conduct Committee noted, “Teachers are expected to adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct and act in a manner which maintains the honour and dignity of the profession regardless of the medium of communication. By engaging in online communication that called into question the value of teacher professional development, this teacher failed to maintain the honour and dignity of the profession.”

The Professional Conduct Committee ordered a penalty of a letter of reprimand for this action. ❚

Read more Pitfalls and Precautions articles here.

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