official | relating to an authority or public body and its duties, actions, and responsibilities.
Today I'm a little salty because this situation brought back some unpleasant memories.
You see, a few years ago I had an issue (I didn't know I had an issue but they apparently did) with someone representing an official entity and they blocked me on social media because they thought I posted something that was a "dig" at them. It was not. It was a situation that highlighted someone's effort that deserved to be celebrated, but it happened to be the opposition so it caused some issues and they felt that warranted blocking me from seeing the very public official social media accounts associated with that entity. It's long over (although interestingly enough I'm still blocked) but that's a moot point.
Today I learned that someone who had been in a leadership role with a recent high school program has been blocked from viewing the social media accounts they had overseen for a period of time. This account also blocked the account of the new employment for this person.
I understand that sometimes there are issues when people associated with programs leave, and although the information on what made the changes occur NONE of us should be privy to or speculate on, suffice it to say that it's my understanding nothing was done by that person leaving their position that would warrant the new person to block them.
There is a big misconception in the world of social media and schools need to be more accountable. ANYONE (Coach/Parent) who uses the name of ANY associated official program and/or activity of a school HAS to have accountability on how that social media channel is used. Admittedly there are RARE exceptions when someone would need to be blocked but those would be ones that would necessitate administration and potentially police involvement.
As a steward of a program, it's your responsibility to foster openness and community when it comes to programs officially associated with the schools. There has to be guidelines on expectations of how social media is handled when you are an "official XXX High School Activity".
Here is my suggestion for the administrations of schools and athletic directors that need to be given to coaches and any representatives that have access to social media accounts:
Social media accounts using any wording that denotes this is an "official" account of a specific program of the school district must refrain from blocking individuals unless they fall under the following parameters and have been approved by the administration:
- Threats of violence
- Repeated issues with degrading and disrespectful comments
THAT'S IT. Pretty simple right?
We all know there may be issues with degrading or disrespectful remarks but those can easily be deleted. A time or two, you delete and move on. If it becomes a common issue, then further action would be warranted, again, with PROOF.
But unless the above two issues are in play, never should a coach/parent be able to decide to block someone because they want to. PERIOD. There is no room for anger, dislike or personal vendettas. That is not what MY tax dollars pay for.
You cannot foster a feeling of community with programs you claim to represent but take personal actions based on personal feelings. It's immature and unacceptable.
Schools need to do better and hold your "official" associated social media channel representatives more accountable. If you don't want to hold any degree of accountability, then they should be restricted to using any language the denotes they are approved/sponsored by the school district, that includes the name of the school.
PS. Because this person had a respect for the program, one which works with a smaller budget due to the size, they encouraged their new employer to donate a sponsorship. The block changed that. Well done folks, your vendetta ruined something for the whole.