Date Capstone Completed


Document Type


Degree Name

Masters of Science in Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


Steven Baule


This qualitative survey investigated how much authority high school athletic directors have when monitoring student-athletes’ social media accounts while also determining whether athletic directors believe it is necessary to implement social media policies for student-athletes. An in-depth literature review supports evidence of the legality of athletic code of conducts based on previous court cases and a theoretical framework. Twenty-five athletic directors from the state of North Dakota participated in the study via an online survey. The study obtained basic demographics and determined how the administrators have implemented current social media policies, along with understand their views on policies for student-athletes’ social media accounts. Analysis of the study showed that student-athletes’ social media usage may be regulated by school administrators if the post contains speech that causes or creates a reasonably, foreseeable, and substantial disruption to the school environment. The researcher determined that policies include the sanctions that are implemented when a student-athlete violates the athletic code of conduct. However, there was a decisive number of athletic directors who do not see the necessity of implementing a social media code of conducts as they believe the challenges of creating guidelines outweigh the benefits of providing policies. The researcher determined that in order for athletic directors to feel inclined to create a code of conduct one must create explicit details pertaining to the legality of social media policies. While social media policies may not be the preferred method for athletic directors it provides efficient and legal guidance on how to handle any problems that may arise.



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