Vernon ISD making changes to communication, social media pages

Updated: Dec. 11, 2019 at 10:56 PM CST
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VERNON, Texas (TNN) - Big changes are coming to the Vernon Independent School District when it comes to how they communicate digitally and it’s because of a new Texas law.

Texas Senate Bill 944 went into effect September 1st and with it came new rules for what is considered public information. Now school districts across the state have to come up with a new plan for keeping track of messaging.

“If you’re text messaging and it’s regarding school business then you have to screen shot it and then archive it,” Vernon ISD Superintendent Jeff Byrd said.

This is one of the ways they are taking action to follow new guidelines set under SB 944. All school related communications now must be archived

“If everybody in the district is communicating that way it could become costly. We’ve never been responsible for the cost we are fixing to incur to do that,” Byrd said.

To keep that storage cost down the district will move to only using only calls and email for communications between staff. The bill also states social media pages must be archived

“We are going to have to limit how many social media to where each campus has one Facebook page and one Twitter account,” Byrd said. “This means they’ll be getting rid of group specific pages for things like football teams or clubs.”

“It makes it easier on the archiving side and also it’s cheaper on the cost for us by having less pages,” Blaise Boswell, the district’s director of technology said.

“In today’s world we want to be able to communicate," Byrd said.

They’ve already chosen a company called ArchiveSocial to take care of monitoring the pages. This is something that will help us out tremendously on one being in compliance and two being as transparent as possible should we need to be.

“It’s a cost saving matter that keeps the district prepared,” Byrd said.

The district also decided to no longer provide district owned cell phones and will now offer a monthly stipend instead. Texts made on personal phones will still need to be archived

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