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Policy Manual

7540.04 - Staff 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 our 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 network and internet services to its staff.

The District's internet system has a limited educational purpose and has not been established as a public access service or a public forum. The School Board has the right to place restrictions on internet use to assure such use is in accord with its limited educational purpose. Only District approved equipment and software shall be used on the District's local and wide area networks. Staff granted access to the District's network/internet services (hereafter referenced as the "Network") from any device (District or personally owned computer/electronic devices) will be governed by this policy and the related administrative guidelines, and any applicable employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements. 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 to or expectation of privacy in the content of their personal files and records of their online activity while on the District’s Network.

The District encourages staff to utilize the Network 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 District encourages the faculty to develop the appropriate skills necessary to effectively access, analyze, evaluate, and utilize these resources in enriching educational activities. The instructional use of the Network will be guided by the District'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 network connection to only those that have been authorized for the purpose of instruction, study, and research related to the District related business. Unlike 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 staff to electronic information resources.

The Board has implemented specific technology that will protect against (e.g., filter or block) access to visual displays/depictions that are obscene, pornographic and to materials that are harmful to minors as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, whether the District-owned computers, tablets, e-readers, or other web-enabled devices are used on campus or off. At the discretion of the Board or Superintendent, this technology protection measure may also be configured to protect against access to other material considered inappropriate for students to access. This protection may not be disabled at any time students may be using the Network as such disabling will cease to protect against access to materials that are prohibited under the Children’s Internet Protection Act. The Superintendent may temporarily or permanently unblock access to sites containing appropriate material, if access to such sites has been inappropriately blocked. 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 and not on the protection actions of the technology protection measure.

The District utilizes software and/or hardware to monitor online activity of staff members to restrict access to child pornography and other material that is obscene, objectionable, inappropriate, and/or harmful to minors. The Superintendent may disable the technology protection measure to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

Staff members will participate in professional development programs in accordance with the provisions of law and this policy. Training shall include:

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


  B. the inherent danger of students disclosing personally identifiable information online;


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


  D. unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.


Furthermore, staff members shall provide instruction for their students regarding the appropriate use of technology and online safety and security as specified above, and staff members 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 and/or the use of specific monitoring tools to review browser history and network, server, and computer logs.

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

Site administrators are responsible for providing training so that Network 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 Network. All users are required to sign a written agreement annually or at the time of employment to abide by the terms and conditions of this policy and its accompanying procedures.

Staff members are responsible for good behavior on District computers and on the Network just as they are in classrooms, school hallways, and other school premises and school sponsored events. Communications on the Network are often public in nature. General school rules for behavior and communication apply. The District does not sanction any use of the Network that is not authorized by or conducted strictly in compliance with this policy and its accompanying procedures. Users who disregard this policy and its accompanying procedures may have their use privileges suspended or revoked and disciplinary action may be taken against them. Users granted access to the Network through a District or personally owned computer/electronic device assume personal responsibility and liability, both civil and criminal, for uses not authorized by this policy and its accompanying procedures.

The Board designates the Superintendent as the administrator responsible for initiating, implementing, and enforcing this policy and its accompanying procedures as they apply to staff members' use of the network and internet.

F.S. 1001.41
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 4/1/14

© Neola 2012

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