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Principal asks to take down PTO facebook page

7 years 5 months ago #170770 by Anonymous
Replied by Anonymous on topic Principal asks to take down PTO facebook page
I recently took over our PTO's FB page. It had been created a few years ago but not much done with it. So, anyway, I'm working on building it up. If you haven't already resolved the issue, I would suggest your wife consider making a gmail (or yahoo or whatever) account for the PTO. She can use that to create a FB profile and then a PTO business page from there. To edit the FB page, I log in with the PTO profile and that log in information has been shared with a few other people (PTO board members), including the principal. This keeps my personal stuff separate from the PTO web presence (which protects me) and allows for a few other trusted people to sign in if something inappropriate were said on the page or someone had a problem with a post when I wasn't available to take it down.

Good luck!
11 years 1 week ago #163472 by JNevill
Thanks, Rose!

I'll check out the pages you linked to. Keeping up a good working relationship with the school's staff is definitely a high priority.
11 years 1 week ago #163471 by Rose H
Hi JNevill,

First of all, kudos to your wife for trying to make a go of it with the PTO.

You are raising some great issues about Facebook and social media. It's too bad the page had to come down. We are big fans of social media and Facebook and we see many PTOs and PTAs engaging with their communities on FB now.

Chances are, the principal is concerned that something will go wrong, meaning bad stuff will be posted on the FB page, etc. Often, there's a little bit of fear in play -- it might be the principal hasn't done much with FB himself.

Having said that, the principal's concerns that something could go wrong are not off the wall. If your wife would consider this, she could revisit the topic with the principal and see if there is a way to work together on this. Ask the principal what his or her specific concerns are and get specific responses to those concerns. For example, if the principal says he is afraid someone will post something untrue/negative about a teacher, respond by saying your page will have clearly stated guidelines that those kinds of comments will be immediately removed.

We had a a thread on this site with PTOs asking each other for social media guidance and one offered a social media code of conduct. Maybe this is something that your wife could use as a working document (modified for your specific circumstances) to sketch out a plan with the principal.

Here's the link to that thread:

Also, this articles on PTOs using social media may be helpful:

Facebook: Going beyond the basics --

One other thought. Your wife may be setting up/trying to run this group as an independent parent group, as it should be. But, it is usually best to try to figure out a way to work with the principal because if it turns into an adversarial relationship, no one will be happy.

All the best,
Rose C.
Community Manager
11 years 1 week ago #163469 by JNevill
My wife was pushed into starting a PTO at a school meeting by the teachers of the school. My son is a kindergarten student there and the school has many children of lower-income families, many of which are non english speaking. This has made it difficult to get a PTO started, and so far it's really just a one-woman show.

To be proactive we propped up a Facebook page for the PTO where my wife puts updates of school events and activities (school concerts, days off, etc).

Today she was invited by the principal to a meeting to 'discuss the page'. He mentioned some issues about the page, like it appeared to be tied to her facebook profile (she's the only PTO member and you can't have a Facebook page without having a page administrator....). He beat around the bush, which, at the core, seemed to be that he feared something might be posted on the page that isn't sanctioned by the school, and that it might put the school or something in bad light.

At any rate, because she wishes to keep a good relationship with the school principal, she deleted the page.

My thoughts are:

1. If the principal can't trust the PTO president (albeit the only member so far) to be the face of the PTO, how do we go about working towards the same goals?

2. The principal, as far as I can tell, has no say on what the PTO does outside of his building, and this seems like he is really overstepping his bounds.

Any suggestions for next steps?
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