West Clermont Local School District
Administrative Guidelines
 

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 guidelines, 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.

Smooth operation of the Board's Network relies upon users adhering to the following guidelines. The guidelines 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. All use of the Network must be consistent with the educational mission and goals of the District.

   
 

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. Staff members are responsible for taking steps to prevent unauthorized access to their accounts by logging off or "locking" their computers when leaving them unattended.

   
 

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. Staff members may not intentionally disable any security features of 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, including sexting; 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 shall not use the Network to transmit material that is threatening, obscene, disruptive, or sexually explicit or that can be construed as harassment or disparagement of others based upon their race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion or political beliefs. Sending, sharing, viewing or possessing pictures, text messages, e-mails or other materials of a sexual nature (i.e. sexting) in electronic or any other form, including the contents of a wireless communication device or other electronic equipment is grounds for discipline, up to and including termination. Such actions will be reported to local law enforcement and child services as required by law.

   
 

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. This provision shall not limit the use of the Network by staff members for the purpose of communicating with elected representatives or expressing views on political issues. Staff members may use the Network for communication related to collective bargaining and union organizational activities.

   
 

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.

Never reveal names, addresses, phone numbers, or passwords of students while communicating on the Internet, unless there is prior written parental approval.

   
 

6.

Check e-mail, frequently and delete e-mail promptly from the personal mail directory to avoid excessive use of the electronic mail disk space. Nothing herein, alters the staff member's responsibility to preserve e-mail and other electronically stored information that constitutes a public record, student education record and/or a record subject to a Litigation Hold.

     
 

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 engage in vandalism or use the Network in such a way that would disrupt its use by others. Vandalism is defined as any malicious or intentional attempt to harm, steal or destroy data of another user, school networks, or technology hardware. This includes but is not limited to uploading or creation of computer viruses, installing unapproved software, changing equipment configurations, deliberately destroying or stealing hardware and its components, or seeking to circumvent or bypass Network security and/or the Board's technology protection measures. Staff members must also refrain from intentionally wasting limited resources. 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 Technology Network Coordinator. 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 installs a 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 guidelines, the Board reserves the right to access, 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.

     
 

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 must 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.

Proprietary rights in the design of websites hosted on the Board's servers remains at all times with the Board without prior written authorization.

     
 

P.

Staff members are reminded that personally identifiable student information is confidential and may not be disclosed without prior written parental permission.

   
 

Q.

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

   
 

R.

Staff members may not establish or access web-based e-mail accounts on commercial services through the Network (e.g., Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo mail, etc.).

   
 

S.

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.

   
 

T.

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 Technology Network Coordinator. 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.

P.L. 106-554, Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000
47 U.S.C. 254(h), (1), Communications Act of 1934, as amended (2003)
20 U.S.C. 6801 et seq., Part F, Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (2003)
18 U.S.C. 1460
18 U.S.C. 2246
18 U.S.C. 2256A
20 U.S.C. 677, 9134 (2003)

© Neola 2009