What should schools do?
Principals and teachers have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to protect students from any harm that should have reasonably been foreseen, including those that may be encountered within the online learning environment.
Principals and teachers must understand their duty of care responsibilities and other school-based policies that work to support them such as the bully prevention policy, student engagement policy and acceptable use agreements.
While advances in technology have created opportunities to engage students in the classroom in new and exciting ways they also present significant challenges.
It is essential that principals work in partnership with their staff and school community to:
- develop holistic policies that reflect the teaching and learning practices, strategies and technologies that are being used by teachers and students
- create clear processes and practices to manage classroom and online behaviour and respond to any incidents that may arise
- prepare curriculum plans that explicitly teach safe, responsible and ethical online behaviours
- implement and raise awareness of the school's policies, processes and plans.
The misuse of digital technology and social media may result in legal consequences.