General User Policy



No. 815 815 SECTION: OPERATIONS TITLE: INTERNET ACCESS/ PENN-TRAFFORD E-MAIL/NETWORK RESOURCES ACCEPTABLE USE ADOPTED: June 8, 2009 REVISED: SCHOOL DISTRICT 1. Purpose 2. Authority 47 U.S.C. Sec. 254 3. Delegation of Responsibility 815. INTERNET ACCESS/E-MAIL/NETWORK RESOURCES ACCEPTABLE USE Internet access, electronic mail (e-mail) and network resources are available to teachers, administrators and students in the district for educational and instructional purposes and other purposes consistent with the educational mission of the district. Use of the Internet, e-mail and network resources is a privilege; this policy establishes guidelines for such use. With Internet and e-mail comes the availability of material that may not be considered appropriate in a school setting. The district cannot regulate and monitor all the information received or sent by persons who use the Internet or e-mail, and the district cannot ensure that students who use the Internet or e-mail will be prevented from accessing inappropriate materials or sending or receiving objectionable communications. The district believes, however, that the availability and value of the Internet and e-mail far outweigh the possibility that users may procure inappropriate or offensive material. The Board establishes that use of the Internet and e-mail is a privilege, not a right; inappropriate, unauthorized and illegal use will result in cancellation of those privileges and appropriate disciplinary action. The Board shall establish a list of materials, in addition to those stated in law, that are inappropriate for access by minors. The district shall make every effort to ensure that this resource is used responsibly by students and staff. Administrators, teachers and staff have a professional responsibility to work together to help students develop the intellectual skills necessary to discriminate among information sources, to identify information appropriate to their age and developmental levels, and to evaluate and use the information to meet their educational goals. Page 1 of 7 815. INTERNET ACCESS/E-MAIL/NETWORK RESOURCES ACCEPTABLE USE - Pg. 2 20 U.S.C. Sec. 6777 47 U.S.C. Sec. 254 4. Guidelines Students and staff have the responsibility to respect and protect the rights of every other user in the district and on the Internet. The administrative staff, along with the system administrator, will deem what is appropriate and inappropriate use and their decision shall be final. The Superintendent or designee shall be responsible for implementing technology and procedures to determine whether the district's computers are being used for purposes prohibited by law or for accessing sexually explicit materials. The procedure shall include but not be limited to: 1. Employing the use of an Internet filter (the “Sonic Wall”) as a technology protection measure that blocks or filters Internet access for minors and adults to certain visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, harmful to minors with respect to use by minors, or determined inappropriate for use by minors by the Board. The filter may be disabled by the network administrator at the workstation level for use by an adult administrator or teacher for bona fide research or other lawful purposes. The filter may not be disabled for use by students or other minors for any reason. 2. Maintaining and securing a usage log. 3. Monitoring online activities of minors. Access Agreement All students, administrators and teachers who use the Internet, e-mail and other network facilities must agree to and abide by all conditions of this policy. Each user must sign Penn-Trafford’s Internet, E-Mail And Network Access Agreement. In the case of a student, the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) must sign the Agreement and Notice to Parents/Guardians. Students may not use the district’s computers for access to the Internet or for e-mail without the approval or supervision of a teacher or district staff member. Monitoring The district reserves the right to log, monitor and review Internet, e-mail and other network use of each user, while respecting the privacy rights of both district users and outside users. Network administrators may review student and staff files and communications to maintain system integrity and ensure that students and staff are Page 2 of 7 815. INTERNET ACCESS/E-MAIL/NETWORK RESOURCES ACCEPTABLE USE - Pg. 3 using the system only for appropriate purposes. Users should expect that files stored on district servers or computers will not be private. The district does not maintain archives of all e-mail messages. Prohibitions Use of the Internet, e-mail and network technology must be in support of the educational mission and instructional program of the district. With respect to all users, the following are expressly prohibited: 1. Use for inappropriate or illegal purposes. 2. Use in an illegal manner or to facilitate illegal activity. 3. Use for commercial, private advertisement or for-profit purposes. 4. Use for lobbying or political purposes. 5. Use to infiltrate or interfere with a computer system and/or damage the data, files, operations, software or hardware components of a computer or system. 6. Hate mail, harassment, discriminatory remarks, threatening statements and other antisocial, offensive or inflammatory communications on the network. 7. The unauthorized or illegal installation, distribution, reproduction or use of copyrighted materials or software. 8. Use to access, view or obtain material that is pornography or child pornography. 9. Use to transmit material likely to be offensive or objectionable to recipients. 10. Use to obtain, copy or modify files, passwords, data or information belonging to other users. 11. Use to misrepresent other users on the network. 12. Use of another person’s e-mail address, user account or password. 13. Loading or use of unauthorized games, programs, files, music or other electronic media. 14. Use to disrupt the work of other persons (the hardware or software of other persons shall not be destroyed, modified or abused in any way). Page 3 of 7 815. INTERNET ACCESS/E-MAIL/NETWORK RESOURCES ACCEPTABLE USE - Pg. 4 Pol. 248, 348 Pol. 814 15. Use to upload, create or attempt to create a computer virus. 16. The unauthorized disclosure, use or dissemination of personal information regarding minors. 17. Use for purposes of accessing, sending, creating or posting materials or communications that are damaging to another’s reputation, abusive, obscene, sexually oriented, threatening, contrary to the Board’s policy on harassment, harassing, or illegal. 18. Use which involves any copyright violation or for the copying, downloading or distributing copyrighted material without the owner’s permission, unless permitted in accordance with the fair use guidelines. 19. Use to invade the privacy of other persons. 20. Posting anonymous messages. 21. Use to read, delete, copy or modify the e-mail or files of other users or deliberately interfere with the ability of other users to send or receive e-mail. 22. Use while access privileges are suspended or revoked. 23. Any attempt to circumvent or disable the filter or any security measure. 24. Use inconsistent with network etiquette and other generally accepted etiquette. Student users (and any other minors) also shall not: 1. Use the system to access inappropriate materials or materials that may be harmful to minors. 2. Disclose, use or disseminate any personal identification information of themselves or other students. 3. Engage in or access chat rooms or instant messaging without the permission and direct supervision of a teacher or administrator. Page 4 of 7 815. INTERNET ACCESS/E-MAIL/NETWORK RESOURCES ACCEPTABLE USE - Pg. 5 Etiquette Users are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. These include but are not limited to the following: 1. Be polite. Do not become abusive in messages to others. General district rules and policies for behavior and communicating apply. 2. Use appropriate language. Do not swear or use vulgarities or other inappropriate language. 3. Do not reveal the personal addresses or telephone numbers of others. 4. Recognize that e-mail is not private or confidential. 5. Do not use the Internet or e-mail in any way that would interfere with or disrupt its use by other users. 6. Consider all communications and information accessible via the Internet to be private property. Pol. 103, 104 7. Respect the rights of other users to an open and hospitable technology environment, regardless of race, sexual orientation, color, religion, creed, gender, ancestry, national origin, age, marital status, pregnancy or handicap/disability status. Security System security is protected through the use of passwords. Failure to adequately protect or update passwords could result in unauthorized access to personal or district files. To protect the integrity of the system, the following guidelines shall be followed: 1. Employees and students shall not reveal their passwords to another individual. 2. Users are not to use a computer that has been logged in under another student's or employee's name. 3. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access to the network. Page 5 of 7 815. INTERNET ACCESS/E-MAIL/NETWORK RESOURCES ACCEPTABLE USE - Pg. 6 17 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq Pol. 814 47 U.S.C. Sec. 254 Security on any computer system is a high priority especially when the system involves many users. Each user is required to report any security problems to the system administrator. The problem is not to be demonstrated to other users. Consequences For Inappropriate Use The user, whether a student or employee, shall be responsible for damages to equipment, systems or software resulting from deliberate or willful acts. In addition to other appropriate disciplinary procedures, failure by any user to follow the procedures and prohibitions listed in this policy may result in the loss of access to the Internet and e-mail. Illegal activities or use (for example, intentional deletion or damage to files or date belonging to others; copyright violations; theft of services; etc.) may be reported to the appropriate legal authorities for possible prosecution. The district reserves the right to remove a user account from the network to prevent unauthorized or illegal activity. Vandalism will result in cancellation of access privileges. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, Internet or other networks; this includes but is not limited to uploading or creating computer viruses. Copyright The illegal use of copyrighted software by students and staff is prohibited. Any data uploaded to or downloaded from the network shall be subject to fair use guidelines. Safety To the greatest extent possible, users of the network will be protected from harassment and unwanted or unsolicited communication. Any network user who receives threatening or unwelcome communications shall report such immediately to a teacher or administrator. Network users shall not reveal personal information to other users on the network, including chat rooms, e-mail, Internet, etc. Any district computer/server utilized by students and staff shall be equipped with Internet blocking/filtering software. Internet safety measures shall effectively address the following: 1. Control of access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web. 2. Safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications. Page 6 of 7 815. INTERNET ACCESS/E-MAIL/NETWORK RESOURCES ACCEPTABLE USE - Pg. 7 3. Prevention of unauthorized online access by minors, including "hacking" and other unlawful activities. 4. Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors. 5. Restriction of minors’ access to materials harmful to them. Disclaimer The district makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing. The district is not responsible, and will not be responsible, for any damages, including loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, missed deliveries, or service interruption. Use of any information obtained through the use of the district’s computers is at the user’s risk. The district disclaims responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the Internet or e-mail. Charges The district assumes no responsibility or liability for any charges incurred by a user. Under normal operating procedures, there will be no cost incurred. Listservs And Software Subscriptions to listservs must be preapproved by the district. A student may not download or install any commercial software, shareware, or freeware onto network drives or disks, unless s/he has the specific, prior written permission from a teacher or administrator. References: Child Internet Protection Act – 24 P.S. Sec. 4601 et seq. U.S. Copyright Law – 17 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq. Enhancing Education Through Technology Act of 2001 – 20 U.S.C. Sec. 6777 Internet Safety – 47 U.S.C. Sec. 254 State Board of Education Regulations – 22 PA Code Sec. 403.1 Board Policy – 103, 104, 248, 348, 814 Page 7 of 7