A new code of conduct that will affect how school district employees interact with students was presented to the Aberdeen Public Board of Education on Monday.
The first reading of the rules pertaining to civility and social networking was presented at the regular meeting.
The code of conduct is meant to be what Aberdeen School District Superintendent Gary Harms describes as an adult bullying policy for employees.
Board member Bob Nikolas said he felt the language in the social media policy was too general and subjective.
The policy was brought about in order to keep policies updated, Harms said.
"It's not my intent to be the morality police here," Harms said.
The policy, as currently written, would prohibit improper relationships with students, bar employees from networking online with students, not allow for inappropriate phone or email contact with students and set rules on what types of social media posts are acceptable.
"If you think like the lawyers might, these are very broad general terms," said Linda Burdette, the board's vice president. "I don't know if we want to make it more detailed, since it give us more latitude right now."
Board member Scott Wirth said that some of the policy's rules contradict what are currently acceptable practices for employees. He pointed out that some coaches or instructors text students from their personal cellphones to inform them of practices or other school-related events while the policy only allows for student contact through district property.
Harms said the social media policy, which was modeled after a template from the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, will be looked at again before a second reading.
Harms said social media activity would be hard to monitor, but that the new guidelines would allow administrators to bring about action, should inappropriate behavior be reported.
Also at the meeting, the following bids for various district projects were accepted:
• District asphalt projects: $33,250 from Lien Transportation Company for the Central High School west parking lot and $16,004.32 from Aberdeen Asphalt Inc. for the C.C. Lee Elementary School parking lot.
• Two bids were accepted to repair the C.C. Lee Elementary School air conditioning system. Custom Sheet Metal's bid of $57,330 was rejected and a lower bid from Johnson Controls of $53,815 was accepted.
• JDH construction, the lone bidder, will be completing bleacher installation at Swisher Field for $47, 551. Northern State University will be paying for half of this project.
• Lieberman Construction will be building the new school shop building for a projected cost of $751,625. The company was the lowest bidder out of five proposals.
Also at the meeting, the following items were approved:
• The application for a waiver to offer Central High School students the opportunity to gain credit through examination.
• Unapproved draft minutes from board meetings will be verified by the finance director or designee and be made public within 10 business days.
• Small language changes were made related to vending machine placement, facilities planning and development and specifications for construction.