Lewisville ISD Doesn't Want to Friend Its Staff

Proposal could violate Constitutional right

By Bruce Felps
|  Thursday, Jun 10, 2010  |  Updated 4:43 PM CDT
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Lewisville ISD Doesn't Want to Friend Its Staff

AFP/Getty Images

The logo of social networking website 'Facebook' is displayed on a computer screen in London, 12 December 2007. AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

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 Angela Armstrong, a second-grade teacher in the Lewisville ISD, recently asked school board officials of they really wanted to challenge the First Amendment right of Americans to free speech, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Good question, and good for her.

Her question came about because district leaders floated a proposal to prohibit its employees from making disparaging comments, or any types of comments for that matter, about the district on personal Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, or any other types of social media.

The question that comes to mind is, “What are they going to do, hire a cyber-police staff to monitor all those outlets?”

Another question came about when board members questioned themselves on a specific passage in its six-page Network Access General Use Guidelines for Employees guidelines — specifically, "Non-instructional social networking sites should not contain references by the staff member to any affiliation with LISD. A staff member's web presence must reflect positively upon the district, department and/or school."

"This is crossing a line," trustee Brenda Latham said. "We can't mandate what they say or don't say on their own time with their own technology."

Good for her.

Yes, the district, any district, needs to guard against improper cyber- or other relations between students and employees, but that ultimately falls to the purview of real law enforcement agencies.

Let’s stuff this Big Brother genie back in its bottle and get back to the business of educating the kids and running a district.

Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He received a Facebook friend invitation from a woman pictured wearing a black negligee, sheer stockings, black garters, and brandishing a handgun, and wonders what she’s teaching.

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