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4156 Computer and Internet Use, Internet Safety

Adoption Date: 6/12/1997 Revised:  03/15/2018, 12/14/2017, 11/21/2013, 06/14/2012, 11/01/2004, 08/16/2001, 06/12/1997
4000 - Personnel
4156 Computer and Internet Use, Internet Safety

Regulation Info: 4156R 

The Board of Education encourages the use of the District’s computer systems and the Internet and its services (“District technology”) in order to support open research and education in the School District. The use of the District’s technology for other purposes, such as for-profit activity, financial gain, personal business or illegal activity is prohibited.

In order to assure the integrity of the District’s computer systems and technology, each user must agree to act responsibly and to comply with this policy and the regulations promulgated by the Superintendent of Schools regarding use of the District’s technology Therefore, prior to using the District’s systems and Internet access, each student and staff member must either sign a user agreement or agree to the terms of use electronically. In the case of students, the student’s parent or guardian must also sign the user agreement or agree to the terms of use electronically.

Notwithstanding the requirement for a signed user agreement, in the event that a state or local assessment must be administered using the District’s technology resources, the student will be permitted to use the District’s technology to take the assessment.

Internet access is provided with the understanding that the District cannot control the content available on the Internet. The vast majority of sites available provide a wealth of useful information to staff and students. The District cannot warrant the accuracy of all such sites. However, some sites may contain information that is offensive, defamatory or otherwise inappropriate for students. The District does not condone or permit the use of such materials in the school environment and makes good faith efforts to limit access by students to such inappropriate materials.  Users who bring such material into the school environment may have their accounts suspended or terminated, may be subject to disciplinary action and may be referred to appropriate law enforcement officials where such activities are or are suspected of being illegal.

Electronic/Digital Communications
Electronic/digital communications are not private, are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law, may be subject to disclosure in litigation and are subject to the records retention requirements of the District.  Therefore, Board members and employees are required to use the District’s designated email system, including the District provided email address, for all communications regarding District business.

Internet Safety
The District, in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), shall procure and implement the use of technology protection measures that block or filter Internet access by:

  • Adults to visual depictions that are obscene or child pornography; and
  • Minors to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography or harmful to minors.[1]

The District will install this filtering or blocking technology on all newly acquired computers with Internet access prior to permitting their use by students. This shall be documented by the District in accordance with law. The District, however, does not guarantee that students will be prevented from accessing all inappropriate locations.

Parents, staff members and student must be aware that it is the responsibility of the user to monitor his/her own access to the internet and to use sound judgment. However, the District, through its staff members, technology and systems reviews, shall monitor online activities of students while in school, including but not limited to use of e-mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communication, “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors, and access to materials harmful to minors.

Any user who receives harassing, threatening or unwelcome communications shall immediately bring them to the attention of the teacher, the building principal or the superintendent, as appropriate.

The District prohibits the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information regarding minors by its officers, employees or agents.

The District shall provide age appropriate instruction to students regarding appropriate online behavior including interacting on social networks, websites and chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.  Such instruction will be provided even if the District prohibits students from accessing social networking sites and chat rooms on District computers and resources.

The District’s Director of Technology shall monitor and examine District technology to ensure compliance with this policy and accompanying regulations. 

Computers and files stored on the District’s system are the property of the District. Users acknowledge that school officials will periodically review online activities. Users further acknowledge that if there is reasonable suspicion of a user having violated this or any other Policy or Regulation, or any applicable law, the network administrator or appropriate school official may require access to his/her files, including correspondence and files, to review online activities. Any administrator reviewing such files in accordance with this Policy shall not be subject to any claims arising out of such review.

The use of the District’s computer systems and access to the Internet, pursuant to this policy, is a privilege that may be revoked in the event of a breach of the policy and regulations by a user. Any user who is determined to have used the District’s computer systems or the Internet inappropriately or who violates this policy and its regulations will have his/her use terminated, except under strict supervision. Further, a breach of the terms of this policy and regulations may be considered an act of insubordination which may result in discipline under the Student Code of Conduct for students and pursuant to law and applicable collectively negotiated agreement for staff members.

A breach of the terms of this Policy shall result in referral to appropriate law enforcement officials where the breach involves suspected illegal or criminal activities.

[1] The term “harmful to minors” under CIPA means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

(a)     Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex or excretion;
(b)     Depicts, describes or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
(c)     Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value as to minors.

 Policy Cross References:
6154 - Computer and Internet Use and, Internet Safety