The Verona Board of Education met Tuesday night and approved new policies for both field trip chaperones and the use of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter by teachers and support staff.
As reported, Verona parent chaperones would, for the first time, be explicitly prohibited from using alcohol, drugs or cigarettes during a field trip, and from bringing weapons. Chaperones would be assigned a specific group of pupils for trips, which may or may not include their own child. They will be expected to regularly take a head count and report inappropriate behavior by students, but not to discipline students. On overnight trips, chaperones will be assigned to a room or cabin and must stay there. They will be required to attend a pre-trip briefing, sign a code of conduct form and they may be subject to a background check.
When the social media policy was unveiled two weeks ago, BOE member Joseph Bellino said that it was being introduced because of broad issues surrounding social media and not because of any specific problems in schools. It reads in part that:
“…Staff members who utilize, post or publish images, photographs, or comments on social networking sites, blogs, or other forms of electronic communication outside their professional responsibilities shall ensure their use, postings, or publications are done with an appropriate level of professionalism and are appropriate conduct for a school staff member.
You can read the full text of the new policy here.