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Decorah Community School District

Internet Safety and Acceptable Use Policy

Decorah Community School District
Approved by the Decorah Board of Education - June 17, 2002

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 for all students and staff.

I. Educational Purpose

The school district is providing students and employees with access to the school district's computer system, which includes Internet access. The purpose of the system is not merely to provide students and employees with general access to the Internet. The school district system has a limited educational purpose, which includes use of the system for classroom activities, professional or career development, and limited high quality, self discovery activities. 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.

II. 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 of access privileges; payments for damages and repairs; discipline under appropriate school district policies, including suspension, expulsion, exclusion or termination of employment; or civil or criminal liability under other applicable laws.

III. Unacceptable Uses

A. Users will not use the school district system to:
  • access, review, upload, download, store, print, post, or distribute:
    • pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit material;
    • materials that use language or images that are inappropriate to the educational setting or disruptive to the educational process and will not post information or materials that could cause damage or danger of disruption;
    • materials that use language or images that advocate violence or discrimination toward other people or that may constitute harassment or discrimination;
    • knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization, or to harass another person, or to engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks;
  • transmit or receive obscene, abusive, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, disrespectful, or sexually explicit language;
  • engage in any illegal act or violate any local, state, or federal statute or law;
  • vandalize, damage or disable the property of another person or organization, will not make deliberate attempts to degrade or disrupt equipment, software or system performance by spreading computer viruses or by any other means, will not tamper with, modify or change the school district system software, hardware or wiring or take any action to violate the school district system's security, and will not use the school district system in such a way as to disrupt the use of the system by other users;
  • gain unauthorized access to information resources or to access another person's materials, information or files without the implied or direct permission of that person;
  • post private information about another person or to post personal contact information about themselves or other persons including, but not limited to, addresses, telephone numbers, school addresses, work addresses, identification numbers, account numbers, access codes or passwords, and will not repost a message that was sent to the user privately without permission of the person who sent the message;
  • attempt to gain unauthorized access to the school district system or any other system through the school district system, attempt to log in through another person's account, or use computer accounts, access codes or network identification other than those assigned to the user;
  • violate copyright laws, or usage licensing agreements, or otherwise to use another person's property without the person's prior approval or proper citation, including the downloading or exchanging or pirated software or copying software to or from any school computer, and will not plagiarize works they find on the Internet;
  • conduct a business for unauthorized commercial purposes or for financial gain unrelated to the mission of the school district. Users will not use the school district system to offer or provide goods or services or for product advertisement. Users will not use the school district system to purchase goods or services for personal use without authorization from the appropriate school district official.

    B. If a user inadvertently accesses unacceptable materials or an unacceptable Internet site, the user shall immediately disclose the inadvertent access to an appropriate school district official. This disclosure may serve as a defense against an allegation that the user has intentionally violated this policy. A user may also in certain rare instances access otherwise unacceptable materials if necessary to complete an assignment and if done with the prior approval of and with appropriate guidance from the appropriate teacher.

IV. 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.

V. Limited Expectation of Privacy

  • By authorizing use of the school district system, the school district does not relinquish control over materials on the system or contained in files on the system. Users should expect only limited privacy in the contents of personal files on the school district system;
  • Routine maintenance and monitoring of the school district system may lead to a discovery that a user has violated this policy, another school district policy, or the law;
  • An individual investigation or search will be conducted if school authorities have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover a violation of law or school district policy.

VI. Internet Use Agreement

The Internet Use Agreement Form must be read and signed by adult and student users and the student's parent or guardian. 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. Internet access by a student requires permission of and supervision by the school's designated professional staff. Monitoring of staff use of the Internet occurs in an informal manner through evaluation, technology support, and IP addressing which enables time and workstation accountability. Monitoring of student use occurs with password protection software in all computer labs, as well as adult supervision. Additionally, a district proxy server provides Internet filtering services. The district technology coordinator is responsible for maintaining and monitoring the district proxy and email servers; for reviewing and revising Internet acceptable use and safety guidelines on a regular basis; and for monitoring student and staff instruction and compliance with the district Internet Safety and Acceptable Use Policy.

VII. Limitation on School District Liability

Use of the school district system is at the user's own risk. The system is provided on an "as is, as available" basis. The school district will not be responsible for any damage users may suffer, including, but not limited to, loss, damage or unavailability of data stored on school district diskettes, tapes, hard drives or servers, or for delays or changes in or interruptions of service or misdeliveries or non deliveries of information or material, regardless of the cause. The school district is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of any advice or information obtained through or stored on the school district system. The school district will not be responsible for financial obligations arising through unauthorized use of the school district system or the Internet.

VIII. World Wide Web Page Creation Guidelines

Parents and guardians will be given a comprehensive authorization form to sign at registration indicating their permission or lack of permission concerning:

  • Using the student's name in any media text including web pages;
  • Using the student's picture in the school or local newspapers;
  • Videotaping student activities for use in educational settings or the local cable's local access stations;
  • Using the student's writing in print or electronic media;
  • Using the student's work in exhibitions, portfolios, or professional presentations;
  • Using the student's image/name in marketing productions such as a school brochure.

Content Standards:

  • All subject matter on Decorah School District Web pages and their links must relate to curriculum and instruction, school-authorized activities, or information about the Decorah School District or its mission. Staff or student work may be published only as it relates to a class project, course, or other school-related activity. Neither students, staff, nor other individuals may use the district's web pages to provide access to their personal pages on other servers or online services.

Quality:

  • All work must be free of any spelling or grammatical errors. Documents may not contain objectionable material or point directly to objectionable material (i.e., material that does not meet the standards for instructional resources specified in other related district guidelines). The judgment of the teachers and district webmaster will prevail.

Student Safeguards:

  • Documents shall include only the first name of the student;
  • Documents shall not include a student's home phone number or address or the names of other family members or friends;
  • Published email addresses shall be restricted to those of staff members;
  • Decisions on publishing student pictures, whether digitized or video, and audio clips are based on the supervising teacher's judgment and signed permission of the student and parent or guardian;
  • No student work shall be published without permission of the student and parent or guardian.

Policies:

  • No unlawful copies of copyrighted material may be produced or transmitted via the district's equipment, including its web server;
  • All communications via the district web pages must have no offensive content. This includes religious, racial, and sexual harassment, violence, and profanity.
  • Any deliberate tampering with or misuse of district network services or equipment will be considered vandalism and will be handled as such.

Technical Standards:

  • At the bottom of the page, there must be the date of the last update of the page and the name or initials of the person(s) responsible for the page or the update;
  • At the bottom of the page, there must be a link that returns the user to appropriate points in the district pages. This would normally be a return to the district home page.
  • Standard formatting is used; Browser friendly HTML editors or word processor programs that save files as HTML files may be used.
  • Care should be used in creating extensive files with tiled backgrounds, large graphics, or unusual or dark color combinations;
  • The authorized teacher who is publishing a final web page will edit, test the document for accurate links, and ensure that the page meets the content standards listed above. In addition, the teacher will assume responsibility for updating the links as needed.
  • Pages may not contain links to other pages that are not yet completed. If further pages are anticipated but not yet developed, the text that will provide the link should be included but may not be made "hot" until the further page is actually in place.
  • Graphics should be in GIF or JPEG format. Other formats, including sound or video, may be used only in special circumstances and after consultation with the district technology coordinator.
  • Directory structure will be determined by the district webmaster.

INTERNET USE AGREEMENT FOR STUDENTS

I have read and do understand the school district policies relating to acceptable use of the school district computer system and the Internet and agree to abide by them. I further understand that any violation of the policies above is unethical and may constitute a violation of law. Should I commit any violation, my access privileges may be revoked, school disciplinary action may be taken, and/or appropriate legal action may be taken.

User's Full Name (please print):

User Signature:

Date:

INTERNET USE AGREEMENT FOR PARENTS OR GUARDIANS

As the parent or guardian of this student, I have read the school district policies relating to acceptable use of the school district computer system and the Internet. I understand that this access is designed for educational purposes. However, I also recognize it is impossible for the school district to restrict access to all controversial materials and I will not hold the school district or its employees or agents responsible for materials acquired on the Internet. I hereby give permission to issue an account for my child and certify that the information contained on this form is correct.

Parent or Guardian's Name (please print):

Parent or Guardian's Signature:

Date:

INTERNET USE AGREEMENTS FOR TEACHERS

I have read and do understand the school district policies relating to acceptable use of the school district computer system and the Internet and agree to abide by them. I further understand that any violation of the policies above is unethical and may constitute a violation of law. Should I commit any violation, my access privileges may be revoked, school disciplinary action may be taken, and/or appropriate legal action may be taken. I further agree to promote these policies with the students.

Teacher's Name (please print):

Teacher's Signature:

Date:

INTERNET USE AGREEMENTS FOR STAFF

I have read and do understand the school district policies relating to acceptable use of the school district computer system and the Internet and agree to abide by them. I further understand that any violation of the policies above is unethical and may constitute a violation of law. Should I commit any violation, my access privileges may be revoked, school disciplinary action may be taken, and/or appropriate legal action may be taken.

Staff's Name (please print):

Staff's Signature:


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