CPS to change policy on texting and social media use between students, staff

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Public Schools are considering new guidelines for social media use between students, teachers and coaches.

The changes come in the wake of a new report that accused CPS of failing to properly handle sexual misconduct allegations.

"The last time the student acceptable policy was updated, there was no iPhone," said Phillip DiBartolo of Chicago Public Schools. "BlackBerry was the hottest device on the market and Facebook didn't exist."

The new policy prohibits staff from texting students from personal or work cell phones. Exceptions will be made for students in grades seven through 12 with parental consent.

CPS staff also can no longer communicate with students via personal or non-CPS social media accounts.

"There are a lot of teachers that use social media to share information about their classroom, to share homework assignments, to share review assignments," said Jennie Biggs of Raise Your Hand.

Students are now prohibited from calling or leaving a voicemail on CPS staff's personal cell phones or accepting friend requests from CPS employees' personal social media accounts.

"Maybe CPS can have a FB page and they set it up for the teachers and they can work it out like that," said parent Joseph Williams. "But if it was actually my kids on the teacher's Facebook, no, I wouldn't want that at all."

CPS said they hope to get input from students and teachers at the beginning of the new school year and will adjust the new policies as necessary.
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