The School Board of Polk County
Bylaws & Policies
Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the bylaws and policies of The School Board of Polk County were adopted on November 12, 2013 and were in effect beginning November 12, 2013.
 

7540.03 - STUDENT NETWORK AND INTERNET ACCEPTABLE USE AND SAFETY

Advances in telecommunications and other related technologies have fundamentally altered the ways in which information is accessed, communicated, and transferred in society. Such changes are driving the need for educators to adapt their means and methods of instruction, and the way they approach student learning, to harness and utilize the vast, diverse, and unique resources available on the Internet. The District is pleased to provide Internet services to its students. The Districtís Internet system has a limited educational purpose. The Districtís Internet system has not been established as a public access service or a public forum. The District has the right to place restrictions on its use to assure that use of the Districtís Internet system is in accord with its limited educational purpose. Student use of the Districtís computers, network and Internet services ("Network") will be governed by this policy and the related administrative guidelines, and the Student Code of Conduct. The due process rights of all users will be respected in the event there is a suspicion of inappropriate use of the Network. Users have a limited privacy expectation in the content of their personal files and records of their online activity while on the Network.

The District encourages students to utilize the Internet in order to promote educational excellence in our schools by providing them with the opportunity to develop the resource sharing, innovation, and communication skills and tools that are essential to both life and work. The instructional use of the Internet will be guided by the Board's policy on instructional materials.

The Internet is a global information and communication network that provides an incredible opportunity to bring previously unimaginable education and information resources to our students. The Internet connects computers and users in the District with computers and users worldwide. Through the Internet, students and staff can access up-to-date, highly relevant information that will enhance their learning and the education process. Further, the Internet provides students and staff with the opportunity to communicate with other people from throughout the world. Access to such an incredible quantity of information and resources brings with it, however, certain unique challenges.

First, and foremost, the District may not be able to technologically limit access, to services through the District's Internet connection, to only those that have been authorized for the purpose of instruction, study, and research related to the curriculum. Unlike in the past when educators and community members had the opportunity to review and screen materials to assess their appropriateness, access to the Internet, because it serves as a gateway to any publicly available file server in the world, will open classrooms and students to electronic information resources which have not been screened by educators for use by students of various ages.

The District has implemented technology protection, utilizing software and hardware measures which monitor, block, and filter Internet access to visual displays that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors. Nevertheless, parents/guardians are advised that a determined user may be able to gain access to services on the Internet that the School Board has not authorized for educational purposes. In fact, it is impossible to guarantee students will not gain access through the Internet to information and communications that they and/or their parents/guardians may find inappropriate, offensive, objectionable, or controversial. Parents/guardians assume risks by consenting to allow their child to participate in the use of the Internet. Parents/guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using the Internet.

Pursuant to Federal law, students shall receive education about the following:

 A.safety and security while using e-mail, chat rooms, social media, and other forms of electronic communications;

 B.the dangers inherent with the online disclosure of personally identifiable information; and,

 C.the consequences of unauthorized access (e.g., "hacking"), cyberbullying, and other unlawful or inappropriate activities by students online.

Site managers are responsible for providing training so that Internet users under their supervision are knowledgeable about this policy and its accompanying procedures. The Board expects that staff members will provide guidance and instruction to students in the appropriate use of the Internet, and will monitor students' online activities while at school.

Monitoring may include, but is not necessarily limited to, visual observations of online activities during class sessions; or use of specific monitoring tools to review browser history and network, server, and computer logs.

All Internet users (and their parents if they are minors) are required to sign a written agreement annually, or at the time of enrollment to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy and its accompanying procedures.

Students and staff members are responsible for good behavior on the District's computers and the Internet just as they are in classrooms, school hallways, and other school premises and school sponsored events. Communications on the Internet are often public in nature. General school rules for behavior and communication apply. The Board does not sanction any use of the Internet that is not authorized by or conducted strictly in compliance with this policy and its accompanying procedures.

Students shall not access social media for personal use from the District's network, but shall be permitted to access social media for educational use in accordance with their teacher's approved plan for such use.

Users who disregard this policy and its accompanying procedures may have their use privileges suspended or revoked, and disciplinary action taken against them. Users granted access to the Internet through the District's computers assume personal responsibility and liability, both civil and criminal, for uses of the Internet not authorized by this Board policy and its accompanying procedures.

The Board designates the Superintendent and administrators responsible for initiating, implementing, and enforcing this policy and its accompanying procedures as they apply to students' use of the Network.

F.S. 1001.43, 1001.51
H.R. 4577, P.L. 106-554, Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000
P.L. 110-385, Title II, Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act
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
20 U.S.C. 6777, 9134 (2003)
18 U.S.C. 2256
18 U.S.C. 1460
18 U.S.C. 2246
76 F.R. 56295, 56303

© Neola 2012