1. Sexting, Texting, Snapchat and Beyond: Practical and Legal Guidance for the Use of Social Media in Schools

Sexting, Texting, Snapchat and Beyond: Practical and Legal Guidance for the Use of Social Media in Schools

Sexting, Texting, Snapchat and Beyond: Practical and Legal Guidance for the Use of Social Media in Schools
Event ID: 71446


Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer session.
Presenter(s): Erin Gilsbach, attorney at law, Steckel and Stopp
Price: $299.00 On-Demand includes full audio presentation, question and answer session, and presentation slides.
Who Should Attend? School superintendents, principals, human resources directors, school district in-house counsel
Best For: K-12


The use of social media in schools has evolved quickly. WhatsApp, Vine, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media apps, have all found what seems to be a permanent place in our schools. Rather than rejecting social networking, many schools are seeking to become “digital friendly” with social networking applications relating to: community outreach, professional development, parental communication, course assignments, networking with colleagues, and so on. The opportunities seem almost endless, but with opportunity also come certain risks and concerns.

Among these are various state and federal laws and regulations and questions concerning: bullying, search and seizure, child pornography charges, conducting social media background checks on prospective staff, disciplining students for activity on- and off-campus on social media sites, and more. Many schools are adopting social media policies and guidelines for both students and staff which they hope will help to address some of these issues. What risks do schools run for allowing social networking? How can educators take back control and not run afoul of both privacy and certain free speech protections afforded students and staff? What responsibilities do schools have to monitor activities, including the use of “ghost apps” and other “private” exchanges? What rights do schools have to ban such technologies when they become a hindrance in the classroom? What does the Fourth Amendment say about staff’s right to search or even confiscate student electronic devices?

Please join Erin Gilsbach, attorney at law, as she guides you through the potential problem areas when social media is used by schools, students, and staff, as well as precautions that schools must take to avoid violating the rights of students and staff to communicate in this manner.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • Find out when students’ off-campus social media behavior can be regulated by schools
  • Understand the risks of “ghost apps” and how to mitigate such risks
  • Determine the possible consequences of sexting for both students and staff – what is and isn’t allowed between minors?
  • Review best practices for developing social media use policies and guidelines for students and staff
  • Discuss the role of the Fourth Amendment when it comes to searching and removing student electronics
  • Discover what protections employees have when discussing work-related matters on social media sites and when it crosses the line
  • Discuss whether you can monitor social media as a means of stopping student bullying
  • Understand the issues that arise when schools use social media to communicate
  • Learn what policies schools should have in place regarding the use of social media at school and away from school
  • Review the privacy rights afforded students and staff



Your conference leader for “Sexting, Texting, Snapchat and Beyond: Practical and Legal Guidance for the Use of Social Media in Schools” is Erin Gilsbach. Ms. Gilsbach is a practicing school law attorney with the PA-based law firm of Steckel and Stopp. She is an experienced speaker at the state and national levels on matters regarding school law and a frequent author on education law topics. She currently serves as the president of the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) Solicitor’s Association and is a member of the board of directors of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Council of School Attorneys (COSA). Ms. Gilsbach provides a wide variety of training programs, as well as legal consulting services, to school districts, charter schools, non-public schools, and education-related organizations. She specializes in school policy and procedure legal defensibility audits as well as professional development in areas of special education, school technology, nursing and school health services, truancy prevention, child abuse prevention and mandated reporting, educator evaluation and discipline, and many other trending school law topics. Prior to attending law school, she taught high school English. Prior to entering private practice, she served for over two years at the PA Dept. of Education’s Office of Chief Counsel. Ms. Gilsbach was voted by her peers as a SuperLawyers “Rising Star Attorney” for 5 consecutive years and is an active member of and frequent presenter and author for NSBA, COSA, the national Education Law Association (ELA), PSBA, the LRP Institute, the National Business Institute (NBI), the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI), and a number of other legal and educational organizations. She is currently writing a book for LRP publications on school health services that is scheduled for publication in the fall of 2019.

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