Some PA/PTAs decide to use social media to communicate with their school community online. Since any form of communication should reach as many parents as possible, it's a good idea to survey parents to make sure the proposed method is effective and inclusive. A number of PA/PTAs that have created Facebook groups have adopted policies or guidelines for their use; this practice helps ensure that your school's community standards are followed. Below is a sample that you can adapt to suit your PA/PTA.

P.S. 123 PTA Facebook Policy

Purpose of Facebook group: The purpose of our Facebook group, named [NAME OF GROUP] is to provide an online community for teachers, parents and caregivers of the students at [NAME OF SCHOOL]. The group is not for students, and we ask that no content be posted by children.[1]

Goal: Our goal is to share information and tips, update the community on events and programs, and showcase the achievements of students, teachers, parents, and other community members.

Community Do’s:

  • Highlight our community’s accomplishments and supporters.
  • Ask questions, respond and share information.
  • Keep discussions positive and focused on our school community.
  • Post articles about education and our community.
  • Post information about opportunities for students.
  • Constructively raise issues for discussion, and share ideas for PA/PTA activities or goals.
  • Use language appropriate for a caring and respectful community.
  • Post your photos of your own children.
  • Respect other parents’ wishes regarding pictures of their children.
    • Any parent may request removal by PA/PTA Facebook Administrator(s)[2] of photos featuring their children. If the child is under the age of thirteen (13), the parent may also send a request to Facebook for the removal of the images.][3]
  • Ensure that the group’s privacy settings are set to “Closed” or “Secret”, so that Facebook users outside the group cannot see posts by group members. Remember that your posts are visible to all members of the group.

Community Don’ts:

  • Do not engage in cyberbullying of any kind, including insulting, targeting, or excluding any individuals, including but not limited to school board officials, school administrators, teachers, PA/PTAs members, students, parents, or other individuals affiliated with or connected to the school.
  • Do not put down individuals or other organizations.
  • Do not discriminate in any way.
  • Do not post about concerns, problems, or conflicts with individual teachers, administrators, students, or parents.
  • Do not make any inflammatory statements or allegations against individuals or organizations. Threats of physical or verbal abuse will be reported to the authorities, and the offender may be removed or blocked from the group.
  • Do not post confidential information, such as student grades, disciplinary proceedings, health conditions, personal family matters, or anything else that would generally be considered personal or private.
  • Do not post school location information that could pose a risk to students.
  • Do not advertise goods or services, though you may thank partners and contributors.
  • Do not publish content as your own that has been created by others.
  • Do not post pictures that other parents have taken without their express permission.

The PA/PTA Board and PA/PTA Facebook Administrator(s) reserve the right to delete comments and remove or block users who do not follow the guidelines stated above. The determination of prohibited use or objectionable content is at the sole discretion of the PA/PTA Board and the PA/PTA Facebook Administrator(s).

[1] If the PA/PTA has a presence on other social media platforms, such an Instagram or Twitter feed, include here.

[2] The PA/PTA Facebook Administrator(s) should consist of a parent or group of parents designated by the PA/PTA Board to monitor the PA/PTA’s Facebook profile.

[3] There are various approaches that the PA/PTA can take to posting photos of children. Neither applicable law nor Facebook policy mandates any one approach. Ultimately, it is up to each PA/PTA to determine its own policy regarding photos of children.