These days, many PTOs and PTAs spend time cultivating their Facebook communities. Having a thriving online community is a good thing, but when a Facebook page or group gets really busy, there’s often an increase in challenging situations, like negative remarks or inappropriate language. Dealing with these problems can be stressful and time-consuming.

One way to bring the stress level way down is to create a Facebook policy or set of guidelines so your community has a code of conduct to follow. Not only will it save your page or group administrator time (she won’t need to deliberate on each problem that arises); it will also help your community. The vast majority of your parents will play be the rules—if you provide the rules.

We put together a Facebook guidelines template that you can use and modify for your PTO or PTA. But before you get to that step, check in with your principal. You may learn that other parent groups in your district have guidelines that can be adapted by your group.

When you complete your guidelines, ask your principal to review the document and ask if the school district’s attorney should review it, as well.

Once your principal and others have signed off, you can release the guidelines to parents. It’s key to publish the document on many channels so you reach as many parents as possible. Send it by email and as a flyer and publish it in your newsletter. Post the guidelines on your Facebook page or group and on the school's website and on occasion, create a Facebook post reminding your community that you have guidelines (and post the link).

Facebook Guidelines for ABC Elementary PTO

Purpose of FB page (or group): The purpose of our Facebook page (or group) is to provide an online community for parents and families at  _____________ (name of school).

Goal: Our goal is to share information and tips, update the community on events and programs, and showcase the achievements of students, teachers, parents, and other community members.

Community Rules

  • We encourage you to ask questions and share information. We request that you keep discussions focused directly concerning our school community.

  • We encourage posts that highlight our community’s accomplishments and constructively raise issues for discussion.

  • When posting, please use appropriate language. Children can see our page (or group).

  • If you choose, you can post photos of your children at school events. Do not post photos of other children. If you have any questions about posting a particular photo, please check with the Facebook page (group) administrator.

  • Do not post about concerns, problems, or conflicts with individual teachers, administrators, students, or parents. We will immediately delete posts that in any way put down or discriminate against individuals.

  • Online threats will be taken seriously, and proper authorities will be immediately notified.

  • Do not post information commonly understood as confidential, such as student grades.

  • Any inflammatory statements that make allegations against individuals or organizations will be deleted.

  • Keep in mind what you post is public information (or, if this pertains to a Facebook group, state that it is public to all members of the group).

  • Any advertising for businesses is not allowed.

  • Do not publish content as your own that has been created by others.

  • Add any additional elements that pertain to your specific school community.

The PTO board and PTO Facebook administrators reserve the right to delete comments and block users who are not following the rules stated above.

Copy and paste the text above, or download the template below as an editable Word doc:

Download the Facebook Guidelines Template for PTOs and PTAs