New Your State School Boards Association

When your district is attacked on social media

On Board Online • August 15, 2016

By the New York State Association of School Attorneys

Most school board members and school employees have thick skins. They are accustomed to dealing with community criticism from those who disagree with difficult decisions, such as closing a school building, disbanding a sports team or terminating a popular staff member. But in the age of social media, attacks can raise questions about whether or how district officials should respond. Legal issues such as libel may be involved.

While criticism is nothing new, controversies can take on a life of their own as local bloggers express opinions and individuals comment on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites.

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