Policy 524 - Internet Acceptable Use and Safety

Revised: April, 18 2017

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to set forth policies and guidelines for access to the school district computer system and acceptable and safe use of the Internet, including electronic communications.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. In making decisions regarding student and employee access to the school district computer system and the internet the school district considers its own stated educational mission, goals, and objectives.

B. Access to the school district computer system and to the Internet enables students and employees to explore thousands of libraries, databases, bulletin boards, and other resources while exchanging messages with people around the world.

C. The school district expects that employees and students will blend thoughtful use of the school district computer systems and the Internet throughout the curriculum.

D. The school district monitors online activities and operates technology protection measures, including filters, that protect against access to unacceptable or harmful material through the school district network.

E. All electronic communications that are sent or received on the school district network are considered property of the school district.

F. It is ultimately the responsibility of parents and guardians of minors to set and convey standards that their children should follow when using technology and Internet resources. While school district staff will provide guidance and instruction to students in appropriate Internet use, the school district cannot guarantee that students will not independently access technology and Internet resources.

III. ACCEPTABLE USES

Users are expected to use Internet access through the district system to further educational and personal goals consistent with the mission of the school district and school policies.

A. The school district will provide instruction and guidance to students in the use of technology and Internet and other electronic resources for educational and informational purposes that enhance student learning such as research, instruction, collaborative education projects and other exploration on parts of the curriculum.

B. Use that encourages efficient, cooperative and creative methods to perform the user’s job duties or educational tasks.

C. Use related to instructional, administrative and other support activities considered consistent with the mission of the district.

D. Communication between staff, students, parents and guardians using digital tools intentionally supported by the district for professional communication to enhance or support student learning.

IV. USE OF SYSTEM IS A PRIVILEGE

The use of the school district system and access to use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right. Depending on the nature and degree of the violation and the number of previous violations, unacceptable use of the school district system or the Internet may result in one or more of the following consequences: suspension or cancellation of use or access privileges; payments for damages and repairs; discipline under other appropriate school district policies, including suspension, expulsion, exclusion, or termination of employment; or civil or criminal liability under other applicable laws.

V. UNACCEPTABLE USES

A. Users will not use the school district system to access, review, upload, download, store, print, post, receive, transmit, or distribute pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit material or other visual depictions that are harmful to minors.

1. Information or materials that could cause damage or danger of disruption to the educational process;

B. Users will not use the school district system to knowingly or recklessly post, transmit, or distribute false or defamatory information about a person or organization.

C. Users will not use the school district system to engage in any illegal act or violate any local, state, or federal statute or law.

D. Users will not use the school district system to vandalize, damage, or disable the property of another person or organization.

E. Users will not use the school district system to gain unauthorized access to information resources or to access another person’s materials, information, or file.

F. Users will not use the school district system to violate copyright laws or usage licensing agreements.

1. A student or employee engaging in the foregoing unacceptable uses of the Internet when off school district premises also may be in violation of this policy as well as other school district policies.

G. Users will not use the school district system to engage in bullying or cyberbullying in violation of the school district’s Bullying Prohibition Policy ( Princeton Policy 514). This prohibition includes using any technology or other electronic communication off school premises to the extent that student learning or the school environment is substantially and materially disrupted.

VI. CONSISTENCY WITH OTHER SCHOOL POLICIES

Use of the school district computer system and use of the Internet shall be consistent with school district policies and the mission of the school district. Misconduct will result in the imposition of discipline consistent with the seriousness of the misconduct.

VII. INTERNET USE AGREEMENT

The proper use of the Internet, and the educational value to be gained from proper Internet use, is the joint responsibility of students, parents, and employees of the school district.

VIII. IMPLEMENTATION; POLICY REVIEW

A. The school district administration may develop appropriate user notification forms, guidelines, and procedures necessary to implement this policy.

B. The school district Internet policies and procedures are available for review by all parents, guardians, staff, and members of the community.

C. Because of the rapid changes in the development of the Internet, the school board shall conduct an annual review of this policy.

Legal References:

  • 15 U.S.C. § 6501 et seq. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)
  • 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. (Copyrights)
  • 20 U.S.C. § 6751 et seq. (Enhancing Education through Technology Act of 2001)
  • 47 U.S.C. § 254 (Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000 (CIPA))
  • 47 C.F.R. § 54.520 (FCC rules implementing CIPA)
  • Minn. Stat. § 121A.0695 (School Board Policy; Prohibiting Intimidation and Bullying)
  • Minn. Stat. § 125B.15 (Internet Access for Students)
  • Minn. Stat. § 125B.26 (Telecommunications/Internet Access Equity Act)
  • Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., 393 U.S. 503, 89 S.Ct. 733, 21 L.Ed.2d 731 (1969)
  • United States v. Amer. Library Assoc., 539 U.S. 194, 123 S.Ct. 2297, 56 L.Ed.2d 221 (2003)
  • Doninger v. Niehoff, 527 F.3d 41 (2nd Cir. 2008)
  • R.S. v. Minnewaska Area Sch. Dist. No. 2149, No. 12-588, 2012 WL 3870868 (D. Minn. 2012)
  • Tatro v. Univ. of Minnesota, 800 N. W. 2d811 (Minn. App. 2011), aff’d on other grounds 816 N.W.2d 509 (Minn. 2012)
  • S.J.W. v. Lee’s Summit R-7 Sch. Dist., 696 F.3d 771 (8th Cir. 2012)524-11
  • Kowalski v. Berkeley Cnty Sch., 652 F.3d 656 (4th Cir. 2011)2011)
  • Layshock v. Hermitage Sch. Dist., 650 F.3d 205 (3rd Cir. 2011)
  • Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc. v. Camdenton R-III Sch. Dist., 853 F.Supp.2d 888 (W.D. Mo. 2012)
  • M.T. v. Cent. York Sch. Dist., 937 A.2d 538 (Pa. Commw. Ct. 2007)
  • J.S. v. Bethlehem Area Sch. Dist., 807 A.2d 847 (Pa. 2002)

Cross References:

Adopted: February 26, 2002
Adopted: February 22, 2005
Revised: December 8, 2009
Reviewed: March 22, 2011
Revised: March 13, 2012
Revised: September 2, 2014
Revised: September 1, 2015
Revised: April, 18 2017