Policy - 1310 Freedom of Speech in Noninstructional Settings

The School Board acknowledges the right of its employees, as citizens in a democratic society, to speak out on issues of public concern. When those issues are related to the Corporation, however, the employee's expression must be balanced against the interests of this Corporation.

The following guidelines are adopted by the Board to help clarify and, therefore, avoid situations in which the employee's expression could conflict with the Corporation's interests. In situations in which the employee is not engaged in the performance of his/her duties s/he should:

  1. state clearly that his/her expression represents personal views and not necessarily those of the School Corporation if others could reasonably conclude that the employee is speaking on behalf of the Corporation;

  2. not discuss with others any individual staff member with whom s/he would normally be in daily contact in the performance of duties, if the discussion would disrupt cooperative staff relationships and refrain from any discussion of students that would endanger that student’s privacy rights;

  3. refrain from expressions that would disrupt harmony among co-workers or interfere with the maintenance of discipline by school officials;

  4. not make abusive or personally defamatory comments about co-workers, administrators, or officials of the Corporation;

  5. refrain from making public expressions which s/he knows to be false or are made without regard for truth or accuracy;

  6. not make threats against co-workers, supervisors, or Corporation officials.

  7. not “friend” or “follow” on social media a current student who is not a family member on a personal website. Instead, employees are encouraged to create alternative ways to communicate classroom activities with parents and student, such as a blog, a classroom webpage, a Facebook “fan” page, etc., specifically for that purpose.

Violations of these guidelines may result in disciplinary action as permitted by applicable law.

I.C. 20-28-10-14