Brevard County (Florida)
Administrative Procedures
 

7540.04 - STAFF NETWORK AND INTERNET ACCEPTABLE USE AND SAFETY

Staff members are encouraged to use the Board's computers, network, and Internet connection ("network") for educational and professional purposes. Use of the network is a privilege, not a right. Staff members must conduct themselves in a responsible, efficient, ethical, and legal manner. Unauthorized or inappropriate use of the network, including any violation of these procedures, may result in cancellation of the privilege, disciplinary action consistent with the applicable collective bargaining agreement and Board policy, and/or civil or criminal liability. Prior to accessing the network, staff members must sign the Staff Network and Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Agreement. The signed agreement is to be archived at the user's local site and follow the user whenever they permanently relocate to another school or work site.

Smooth operation of the Board's network relies upon users adhering to the following procedures. The procedures outlined below are not exhaustive, but are provided so that users are aware of their general responsibilities.

 A.Staff members are responsible for their behavior and communication on the network.

 B.Staff members may only access the network by using their assigned network account. Use of another person's account/address/password is prohibited. Staff members may not allow other users to utilize their passwords. Staff members may not go beyond their authorized access.

 C.Staff members may not intentionally seek information on, obtain copies of, or modify files, data or passwords belonging to other users, or misrepresent other users on the network.

 D.Staff members may not use the network to engage in "hacking" or other illegal activities (e.g., software pirating, intellectual property violations; engaging in slander, libel or harassment; threatening the life or safety of another; stalking; transmission of obscene materials or child pornography; fraud; sale of illegal substances or goods).

  1.Slander and libel are terms defined specifically in law. Generally, slander is "oral communication of false statements injurious to a personís reputation," and libel is "a false publication in writing, printing, or typewriting or in signs or pictures that maliciously damages a personís reputation or the act or an instance of presenting such a statement to the public." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language Third Edition is licensed from Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.) Staff members shall not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization. Staff members are reminded that material distributed over the Internet is "public" to a degree no other school publication or utterance is. As such, any remark may be seen by literally millions of people and harmful and false statements will be viewed in that light.

  2.Staff members may not use the Network to harass others. Foul and abusive language, the posting of obscene images or texts, posting of information that injures another, sexual comments or images, racial slurs, gender-specific comments or any comments that would reasonably offend someone on the basis of age, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, national origin, disability is prohibited.

 E.Transmission of any material in violation of any State or Federal law or regulation, or Board policy is prohibited.

 F.Any use of the network for commercial purposes (e.g., purchasing or offering for sale personal products or services by staff members), advertising, or political lobbying is prohibited.

 G.Staff members are expected to abide by the following generally accepted rules of network etiquette:

  1.Be polite, courteous, and respectful in your messages to others. Use language appropriate to school situations in any communications made through the network. Refrain from using obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, sexually explicit, defamatory, threatening, abusive or disrespectful language in communication through the network (including, but not limited to, public messages, private messages, and material posted on web pages).

  2.Do not engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.

  3.Do not harass another person. Harassment is persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another person. If a staff member is told by a person to stop sending him/her messages, the staff member must stop.

  4.Do not post information that, if acted upon, could cause damage or a danger of disruption.

  5.District staff is allowed to send student information internally for official school business. Use initials whenever possible when sending outside our network via the Internet. Teachers, parents, and guardians are encouraged to use our e-mail system to communicate with one another which will help to unite educators and parents as we work together to address each individual student's needs.
   Be sure that any individuals to whom you send student information, regardless of the format used, have a "legitimate educational interest" in that student. It is permissible to send student name, address, Terms ID, birth date, and other identifying information to people on our District e-mail who have a legitimate need for it.

  6.Check e-mail frequently, and diligently delete old mail on a regular basis from the personal mail directory to avoid excessive use of the electronic mail disk space.

 H.Use of the network to access, process, distribute, display or print child pornography and other material which is obscene, objectionable, inappropriate or harmful to minors is prohibited. As such, the following material is prohibited: material that appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex and excretion; material that 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 material that lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value as to minors. If a staff member inadvertently accesses material that is prohibited by this paragraph, s/he should immediately disclose the inadvertent access to the building principal. This will protect the staff member against an allegation that s/he intentionally violated this provision.

 I.Malicious use of the network to develop programs that harass other users or infiltrate a computer or computer system and/or damage the software components of a computer or computing system is prohibited. Staff members may not use the network in such a way that would disrupt its use by others. Staff members should refrain from intentionally wasting limited resources. Staff members may not bypass or attempt to bypass the Boardís technology protection measure. Staff members must immediately notify the building principal if they identify a possible security problem. Staff members should not go looking for security problems (unless that is a component of their job description), because this may be construed as an unlawful attempt to gain access.

 J.All communications and information accessible via the Internet should be assumed to be private property (i.e., copyrighted and/or trademarked). All copyright issues regarding software, information, and attributions/acknowledgement of authorship must be respected.

 K.Downloading of information onto the Board's hard drives is prohibited, without prior approval from the site administrator. If a staff member transfers files from information services and electronic bulletin board services, the staff member must check the file with a virus-detection program before opening the file for use. Only public domain software may be downloaded. If a staff member transfers a file or software program that infects the network with a virus and causes damage, the staff member will be liable for any and all repair costs to make the network once again fully operational.

 L.Privacy in communication over the Internet and the network is not guaranteed. In order to verify compliance with these procedures, the Board reserves the right to monitor, review and inspect any directories, files and/or messages residing on or sent using the network. Messages relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the appropriate authorities.
  The following notice will be included as part of the network log-on screen:
  "The Boardís computers, network, and Internet system is to be used for educational and professional purposes. Users are reminded that all network use, including Internet use, is monitored by the District."

 M.Use of the Internet and any information procured from the Internet is at the staff member's own risk. The Board makes no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, that the functions or the services provided by or through the network will be error-free or without defect. The Board is not responsible for any damage a user may suffer, including, but not limited to, loss of data, service interruptions, or exposure to inappropriate material or people. The Board is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the Internet. Information (including text, graphics, audio, video, etc.) from Internet sources used in class should be cited the same as references to printed materials. The Board is not responsible for financial obligations arising through the unauthorized use of the network. Staff members will indemnify and hold the Board harmless from any losses sustained as the result of misuse of the network by the staff member. Use of the network by staff members will be limited to those staff members who have signed a release of claims for damages against the Board.

 N.Disclosure, use and/or dissemination of personal identification information of minors via the Internet is prohibited, except as expressly authorized by the minor student's parent/guardian on the Student Network and Internet Acceptable Use and Safety Agreement Form.

 O.Staff members own the copyright to works created outside the scope of their employment responsibilities and without the use of Board resources. Staff members may post such work on the District web site to facilitate access by students and/or staff. Notice of such posting and claim of ownership must be provided to the building principal. By posting such work on the Districtís web site, the staff member agrees to grant a non-exclusive license or permission for any staff or student within the District to freely use such work. The Board shall own the copyright on any works created by staff members within the scope of their employment responsibilities.

 P.Staff members are reminded that personally identifiable student information is confidential and may not be disclosed without prior written parental permission. It is the responsibility of staff members to protect any District data kept on staff member equipment (PC, laptop, portable drives, CD's, floppies, etc.). Due diligence must be exercised in keeping this information secured. Protection (physical and/or software) measures should be used when transporting any critical data from or between District sites.

 Q.File-sharing is strictly prohibited. Staff members are prohibited from downloading and/or installing file-sharing software or programs on the network.

 R.Since there is no central authority on the Internet, each site is responsible for its own users. Complaints received from other sites regarding any of the Districtís users will be fully investigated and disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

 S.Preservation of Resources: Computer resources are limited. Because space on disk drives and bandwidth across the lines which connect the network (both internally and externally) are limited, neither programs nor information may be stored on the system without the permission of the site principal. Each staff member is permitted reasonable space to store e-mail, web, and personal files. The Board reserves the right to require the purging of files in order to regain disk space.

 T.Staff members are required to limit student exposure to commercial advertising and product promotion when developing the District or classroom web sites or giving other assignments that utilize the Internet.

  1.Web sites with extensive commercial advertising may be included on the District or classroom web sites or designated as a required or recommended site only if there is a compelling educational reason for such selection.

  2.Staff members may make use of high-quality, unbiased online educational materials that have been produced with corporate sponsorship. Staff members may not make use of educational materials that have been developed primarily for the purpose of promoting a company and/or its products or services.

H.R. 4577, P.L. 106-554, Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000
47 U.S.C. 254(h), (1), Communications Act of 1934, as amended
20 U.S.C. 6801 et seq., Part F, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended
18 U.S.C. 2256
18 U.S.C. 1460
18 U.S.C. 2246

Revised 2/28/06
Revised 2/15/07
Revised 9/07
Revised 4/28/09