West Clermont Local School District
Bylaws & Policies
 

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 Board of Education 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 Board 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 no right or expectation to privacy when using the Network (including, but not limited to, privacy in the content of their personal files, e-mails, and records of their online activity while on the Network).

The Board 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 and responsibilities.

First, and foremost, the Board may not be able to technologically limit access, through the Board's Internet connection, to only those services and resources 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 for supporting and enriching the curriculum according to adopted guidelines and reasonable selection criteria (taking into account the varied instructional needs, learning styles, abilities, and developmental levels of the students who would be exposed to them), 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 that have not been screened by educators for use by students of various ages.

Pursuant to Federal law, the Board has implemented technology protection measures, which protect against (e.g. filter or block) access to visual displays/depictions/materials that are obscene, constitute child pornography, and/or are harmful to minors, as defined by the Childrenís Internet Protection Act. At the discretion of the Board or the Superintendent, the technology protection measures may be configured to protect against access to other material considered inappropriate for students to access. The Board also utilizes software and/or hardware to monitor online activity of students to restrict access to child pornography and other material that is obscene, objectionable, inappropriate and/or harmful to minors. The technology protection measures may not be disabled at any time that students may be using the Network, if such disabling will cease to protect against access to materials that are prohibited under the Childrenís Internet Protection Act. Any student who attempts to disable the technology protection measures will be subject to discipline.

The Superintendent may temporarily or permanently unblock access to sites containing appropriate material, if access to such sites has been inappropriately blocked by the technology protection measures. The determination of whether material is appropriate or inappropriate shall be based on the content of the material and the intended use of the material, not on the protection actions of the technology protection measures.

Parents are advised that a determined user may be able to gain access to services and/or resources on the Internet that the 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 may find inappropriate, offensive, objectionable or controversial. Parents assume risks by consenting to allow their child to participate in the use of the Internet. Parents of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using the Internet. The Board supports and respects each family's right to decide whether to apply for independent student access to the Internet.

The Superintendent shall prepare guidelines that address students' safety and security while using e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging and other forms of direct electronic communications, and prohibit disclosure of personal identification information of minors and unauthorized access (e.g., "hacking") and other unlawful activities by minors online.

Building principals are responsible for providing training so that Internet users under their supervision are knowledgeable about this policy and its accompanying guidelines. The Board expects that staff members will provide guidance and instruction to students in the appropriate use of the Internet. Such training shall include, but not be limited to, education concerning appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response. All Internet users (and their parents if they are minors) are required to sign a written agreement to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy and its accompanying guidelines.

Students and staff members are responsible for good behavior on the Board's computers/network 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 guidelines. Users who disregard this policy and its accompanying guidelines may have their use privileges suspended or revoked, and disciplinary action taken against them. Users granted access to the Internet through the Board'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 guidelines.

The Board designates the Superintendent as the administrator responsible for initiating, implementing, and enforcing this policy and its accompanying guidelines as they apply to studentsí use of the Network.

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. 2256
20 U.S.C. 6777, 9134 (2003)

© Neola 2009