SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17109

 

POLICY

ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

 

AUP and Internet Safety

 

General Information

 

The Susquehanna Township School District provides computer equipment, computer services, and Internet access to its students and staff for educational purposes only.

 

Susquehanna Township School District has established procedures to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which mandates that:

 

  • All computers incorporate technology to protect students from obscene material, child pornography, and other harmful material.
  • Student online activity is monitored and
  • The District establishes an online safety policy.

 

Although Susquehanna Township School District uses filtering software, all parties must be aware that filters are imperfect. Material that should not get through sometimes does get through and material that should not be blocked at times does get blocked.

 

Students who inadvertently access inappropriate material, should notify the supervising teacher, so that the site can be blocked and to avoid any problems if the access is detected during the monitoring process.

 

Students or staffs who are blocked from accessing sites that are erroneously blocked can request that the site be unblocked. Students can process the request through the teachers for whom they are doing work. Teachers may request the unblocking of a site through the Susquehanna Township School District’s Technical Support Department.

 

These guidelines are provided here so that staff, community, student users, and the parents/guardians of students are aware of their responsibilities. The District may modify these rules when it feels changes are appropriate. These modifications will be posted on the District webpage and will be included in notifications to the parents. The signatures collected at the end of this document indicate that the parties who signed have read the terms and conditions carefully, understand their significance, and agree to abide by the established rules.


 

Information Content and Uses of the System

 

Because Susquehanna Township School District provides access to the Internet, students and their parents understand that the District and the system administrators have no control over content. The District will provide student access to Internet resources only in supervised environments and has taken steps to prevent access to objectionable or illegal material, but recognizes that potential dangers remain. Recognizing the existence of objectionable or illegal materials, the Susquehanna Township School District and the system administrators do not condone accessing such materials and do not permit usage of such materials in the school environment. Students that knowingly bring such materials into the school environment will be subject to the discipline policies of the District and such activities may result in termination of the students’ accounts on the District network.

 

The user agrees not to publish on or over the District network any information, which violates or infringes upon the rights of any other person or any information, which would be abusive, profane or sexually offensive to an average person. The user agrees not to use the facilities and capabilities of the system to conduct any business or solicit the performance of any activity that is prohibited by law.

 

Online Conduct

A member of the school community whose action is determined by a system administrator to constitute an inappropriate use of network resources to include: improperly restricting other members from using those resources will be referred to the administration for appropriate action in compliance with the District’s discipline code.

 

Transmission of material, information or software in violation of any local, state, or federal laws is also prohibited and is a breach of this policy. Users and their parents/guardians specifically agree to indemnify the Susquehanna Township School District and the system administrators for any losses, costs, or damages, including reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the District relating to or arising out of any breach of this section (Online Conduct) by the user.

 

Teachers and students using Web 2.0 resources are expected to treat blogspaces, wikispaces and podcast spaces as classroom space. Speech that is inappropriate for class is not appropriate for blogs. While debate and conversation with other bloggers is encouraged, users will conduct themselves in a manner reflective of a representative of the District. Wikiss. podcasts and vodcasts will only contain educational information. To ensure quality and appropriateness of content, all spaces will be monitored by the creator and/or moderator as well as the District Web Coordinator on a regular basis. Teacher and student blogs are to be a forum for classroom expression. However, they are first and foremost a tool for learning; therefore, they will be constrained by the various requirements and rules of the classroom teachers. All blogs, wikis and podcasts will be secured with passwords to ensure safety and protect the identity of the participants.


Software Libraries

Software is provided to students as a curricular resource. No student may install, update, or download software without the expressed consent of the system administrator. Any software having the purpose of negatively impacting other members’ accounts, software, hardware; or the district network (e.g., computer viruses) is specifically prohibited. The system administrators, at their sole discretion, reserve the right to refuse the posting of files and to remove files. The system administrators, at their sole discretion, further reserve the right to immediately terminate the account or take other action consistent with the District’s discipline code of a member who violates this policy.

 

COPPA

Under the provisions of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) all commercial websites must get prior consent before children under the age of 13 are permitted to share any personal information about themselves, or are permitted to use any interactive communication technologies where they would be able to share personal information with others. This includes chat rooms, e-mail, instant messaging, personal profiles, personal websites, registration forms, and mailing lists. Although school sites are exempt and may provide these interactive forums for students, we cannot allow students less than 13 years of age to visit outside sites without parental consent. Both students in this age group and their teachers will be educated as to the provisions of the law and our AUP.

 

COPPA and Parents

COPPA, requires expressed parental permission before any websites that can, or is able to, collect information via interactive components allows children under the age of 13 to access its site. It must secure this permission regardless of whether information is collected. Simply having the ability to collect the information requires the parental permission for access. (Consent forms sent by parents/guardians via e-mail are not sufficient as parental permission).

 

The Susquehanna Township School District is aware of the provisions of and educates its staff and affected students about their rights and responsibilities. Students under the age of 13 visiting such sites without permission or direction will be in violation of this policy.

 

COPPA and Students

Students under the age of 13 may not visit any websites capable of collecting personal information unless it is for curricular reasons and is under the direction or supervision of a staff member of Susquehanna Township School District. By signing this document, you, as the parent/guardian, are granting permission for your child under the age of 13 to access such sites as part of the curricular activities of the school. 

 

Online Safety and Privacy

Students are reminded to follow safe Internet communications practices outlined below:

 

  • Never tell anyone personal information about you.
  • Never meet anyone in person whom you have met online.
  • Remember never to write any personal things about yourself in your online profile.
  • Be civil and polite online.
  • If people are conducting themselves poorly online, leave and report the conduct to a teacher.
  • Report any activity that makes you uncomfortable or if someone sends you inappropriate e-mail.
  • Remember that you need to know who the other person is online.
  • Don’t do things online that you know you wouldn’t do in real life.
  • If you find an inappropriate website, just click the back button and go somewhere else, then report the incident to a teacher or administrator.

 

Electronic Mail

Electronic mail (“e-mail”) is a private electronic message sent by or to a member in correspondence with another person having Internet mail access. Messages received by the system are retained on the system until deleted by the recipient or until they reach the expiration date set by the system administrator.

 

A canceled Susquehanna Township School District account will not retain its mail. Members are expected to remove old messages in a timely fashion. The system administrators may remove such messages if not attended to regularly by the member.

 

CIPA mandates that student online activity is monitored. Though appropriate staff does not regularly read e-mail, it may be spot checked or monitored electronically. The contents of messages will not be provided to anyone other than the sender or an intended recipient without the consent of the sender or the intended recipients, unless required to do so by law or policies of the Susquehanna Township School District or to investigate complaints regarding mail that may be in violation of this policy.

 

It is a violation of this AUP to send mail that is defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, or otherwise illegal. Anyone receiving such mail should refer it to the proper authorities for investigation. Susquehanna Township School District reserves the right to cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to any mail transmitted on the Susquehanna Township School District network.

 

Susquehanna Township School District will provide e-mail accounts to all staff and students who require them for curricular or professional purposes. These accounts are for educational use only. Business, personal entertainment, or other non-educational use is to be avoided. Student use of outside mail accounts or web-based e-mail is prohibited.

 

Accessing outside or web-based accounts without teacher supervision and permission is a violation of this policy.

 

Real-time, Interactive Communication Areas

The printing facilities of the Susquehanna Township School District network should be used judiciously. Unnecessary printing is a drain of the capacity of the networks, adds expense and shortens the life of equipment. By developing on-screen proofreading skills and practicing proper use of cut and paste techniques, users will conserve printing resources and help the network run more efficiently.

 

Technology Equipment and Devices not owned by the District

The use of personally owned technology equipment in conjunction with the District’s network or equipment could be a potential hazard to the District’s network or equipment. These threats include: breach of security and irreparable damages to the District’s equipment, all which may result in costs to the District including installation and maintenance costs.

 

In an effort to minimize the risk to the District does not permit the connection of personally owned equipment to the District resources. This is including but not limited to printers, scanners, digital cameras, external storage devices, notebooks, mice, keyboards etc. Personally owned equipment can only be connected to with the expressed permission of the principal and Director of Technology after a review of the equipment and determination of compatibility by the Technology Department. Personally owned equipment will not be supported by the Susquehanna Township Technology Department and the District is not responsible for loss or damage to any personally owned equipment.

 

Confidentiality

The District shall not reveal a student’s personal identity or post a picture of a student on the network unless the student and his/her parent or guardian has given written consent. No confidential information concerning students or staff shall be transmitted over the system unless via a password protected system.  All web pages created by students and staff will be subject to treatment as District-sponsored publications. Accordingly, the District reserves the right to exercise editorial control over such publications.

 

Privileges

Student and staff use of the computer networked information resources is a privilege, not a right. System administrators can review e-mail, file folders and communications to maintain system integrity and insure that users are using the system responsibly. Users possess no privacy expectation in the contents of their personal files and communications on the District system. Inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of privileges and disciplinary action. (Each student who receives an account will take part in a discussion with a STSD faculty member pertaining to the proper use of the network.) The system administrators and building administrators will deem what is appropriate use and their decision is final. Also, the system administrators may close an account at any time as required. The administration, faculty, and staff of STSD may request the system administrators to deny, revoke, or suspend specific user accounts. 

 

Links

The Links in the STSD website will allow users to leave the site. The linked sites are not under the control of the District and the District is not responsible for the contents of any linked site or any link contained in a linked site, or any changes or updates to such sites. The District is providing these links only as a convenience and the inclusions of any link does not imply endorsement of the site by the District.

 

Plagiarism

Due to the vast amount of information available on the internet and from computer resources, plagiarism has become a growing concern. Plagiarism is an act of stealing and then passing off another’s ideas, words, writings, etc. as one’s own. Students must give credit to other authors or persons if they are going to use their work or ideas. Plagiarism is considering cheating. If a student’s work is considered to be plagiarized, the student will receive the consequences in accordance with school policies and procedures. If the plagiarized work is related to Internet access, the student will be at risk of losing privileges to the network. 

 

Prohibited Conduct

All users are expected to act in a responsible, ethical and legal manner in accordance with District policy, generally accepted rules of network etiquette and federal and state law. Specifically, the following are prohibited:

           

 1. Obtaining system privileges to which one is not authorized including using another person’s account “name” and “password”

 2. Permitting another person to use your account “name” and “password”

 3. Deliberately attempting to disrupt the performance of the District’s computer system(s) or to destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means

 4. Use of any District computer or information system to facilitate, advocate, condone or participate in illegal activities

 5. Use of any District computer or information system for personal or private commercial or financial gain

 6. Use of any District computer or information system to make unauthorized purchases of products and/or services inconsistent with current District purchasing policies and procedures

 7. Use of any District computer or information system for non-school related work

 8. Use of any District computer or information system for non-school related fund-raising                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 9. Use of any District computer or information system for political campaigning and/or lobbying

10. Use of inappropriate language on any District computer or information system including, but not limited to, that which is obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, disrespectful, threatening or inflammatory as determined by the appropriate supervisor.                                                                                                                                                                                    

11. Use of any District computer or information system for hate mail, discriminatory remarks and false or defamatory material about a person or group.

12. Displaying or generating images, sounds or messages (on screen, computers or printers) which could create an atmosphere of discomfort, intimidation or harassment to others

13. Violations of privacy including, but not limited to, revealing personal information about others

14. Use of any District computer or information system to disrupt the work of others such as, but not limited to, intentionally obtaining or modifying files, passwords and/or data belonging to other users

15. Unauthorized use of a network address, use of pseudonyms or anonymous use

16. Copyright infringement or plagiarism. Students, staff and other users should assume that all works, including, but not limited to web designs, on the Internet are protected by the copyright laws and, thus, should make every attempt to request permission from the creator or shall cite or document the source.

17. Loading or use of unauthorized, as determined by the District Technology Coordinator or his/her designee, software, games, programs, files or other electronic media

18. Creating and sending or forwarding electronic chain letters

19. “Spamming” which is sending annoying, unnecessary and/or unsolicited electronic messages

20. Actions which constitute the unauthorized copying, cross assembling or reverse compiling of programs and data provided by the District

21. Destruction, modification, abuse or removal from the District of any piece of computer hardware, software or network system

22. Wastefully using finite resources, such as, paper ink and electronic memory resources

23. Posting for unauthorized or inappropriate use personal contact information about themselves or others including, but not limited to, home address, school address, work address, telephone numbers, e-mail address, etc.

24. “Hacking” or any form of hacking.

 

Consequences

The consequences for inappropriate use and/or violation of this Policy are as follows:

 1. The user shall be financially responsible for all costs associated with damage to hardware, systems and software resulting from deliberate or willful acts.

 2. The user will be reported to the appropriate legal authorities for possible prosecution for vandalism of any hardware, systems or software; intentional deletion or damage to files or data belonging to the District or others; copyright infringement; theft of services, or violation of state or federal laws

 3. Access privileges may be suspended for a specific period of time, including permanently, as determined by the Superintendent and/or his/her designee.

 4. Students may be suspended or expelled.

 5. Use of the District system to communicate information constituting “Improper Conduct” under Board Policy No. 5010 X., in addition to the foregoing, may be addressed by the victim’s filing a complaint under the Student Complaint Process.


Approved by the School Board – May 19, 2003

 
**Please see the Printable Version for the forms associated with this policy**
 
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