Adults must maintain a healthy boundary between themselves and the young people they teach or mentor. Young people are not the peers of adults serving in a church or school. Therefore, adults shouldn’t allow minors to become overly friendly or familiar with them. For instance, minors shouldn’t be calling adults by a personal or familiar nickname and adults shouldn’t include them in an adult social circle.
Social networking sites are understandably popular methods of communicating with real and virtual friends. Teachers, catechists, those involved in parish ministry, and other members of school or parish staffs may not engage in private one-to-one interactions on social networks except as specifically detailed in these guidelines.Teachers, catechists, those involved in parish ministry, and other members of school or parish staffs are strongly urged not to disclose personal information online and to be vigilant about what they post. See the Archdiocesan AUP for further direction.Those who serve youth should not be accessible to the young people they serve on a constant on-call basis, except in cases of emergency. Professionals and volunteers in the Church and school should strongly consider not offering or publishing their home or cell phone numbers or home or email addresses, except to other adults. Such disclosures of personal information, while intended to give the sense of pastoral availability, might not be best for maintaining the professional boundaries called for as a teacher or minister.
Locations must inform parents/guardians of the Location’s policies on the use of personal devices by school and religious education students, access to the Internet, and the use of social media sites. Posting an electronic communications code of conduct on a parish youth ministry website is recommended.
See the Bring Your Own Device Policy Acknowledgement Form and Parental/Guardian's Permission for Access to the Internet.
Minors should be encouraged to understand and accept the Contract for Appropriate Internet Use by Minors.4-27-21