Managing the Public's Use of School Unit Social Media

Volume 30, No. 3

It is becoming more common for school units, schools, and even individual departments, clubs, or teams, to have dedicated social media accounts and/or pages. Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, can be an extremely effective tool for quickly conveying information to broad or targeted audiences alike.

However, the use of social media sometimes results in unintended consequences. Visitors may post obscene, unwanted, irrelevant, or inappropriate comments or replies on a school unit’s page. These comments may be the work of so-called “Internet trolls,” community members looking for a place to vent their frustration or disagreement with decisions or individuals, or just impassioned political speech. The gut reaction is often to delete the unwanted posts, or block the user. After all, it may reflect poorly on the school unit to have offensive posts or replies showing up on its page(s).

As a result, we are often asked whether a school unit can regulate comments on its social media pages. This article addresses that question, and discusses the key legal issues involved in making that determination. …To continue reading, visit

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