Social Media Policies And The WIAA

Education
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Local schools are reviewing their policies regarding social media and athletics after their counterpart near Appleton punished one of its student athletes. The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, more commonly known as the WIAA, says it told Hilbert High School about a recent tweet by April Gehl. It included profanity and opposed a WIAA sportsmanship policy. The school says it punished Gehl but didn’t elaborate on what the punishment was. Fox 25/48’s Abigail Hantke talked social media and sportsmanship with two local schools.

Local high schools are now taking a look at their policies regarding the use of social media.

“We address it to our players, I’m also head basketball coach here about dealing with social media and the things that we should or should not address to you things that could be said because that could come back to you and could cause some violations or penalties or some other problems along the way.”

The WIAA says it’s on the individual high schools to determine whether to punish students for behavior in athletics. It only informs but doesn’t handle discipline.

“What they chose to do with it was apply their code, not the WIAA, we don’t have anything in our rules that says youth or anything like this have to suspend somebody, that was completely the school.”

Although social media is seen by many as a form of free speech, several athletic directors and high schools say how players act outside of the game is just as important as how they act during.

“Would hope that students would use social media for socializing and not voicing certain opinions about rules the WIAA might try to suggest at school districts or anything like that.”

Fall Creek student athletes Cody and Whitney Folkers say they have an image to uphold, on and off the court.

“Little kids look up to you and know your name and when you walk through the halls they see how you act and want to act that way.”

“You’re not going to like everything that is thrown your way, you’re not going to appreciate what everyone has to say, you can still respect their opinions without being negative in a sense.

Abigail Hantke, fox 25-48 News at 9.

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