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Board Policy
Descriptor Code: IFBGA
Electronic Communications  
Print Policy
 

The Greene County School System believes the use of telecommunications in instructional programs is an educational tool that facilitates communication, innovation, resource sharing, and access to information.  Due to the complexity of accessible networks and the magnitude of potential information available on the Internet, students and staff using telecommunications will comply with this policy and administrative procedures with regards to technology use. Due to the changing nature of technology and due to changes recommended or required by federal law, the Board of Education reserves the right to amend this policy.  The Board of Education, through its administrative staff, reserves the right to monitor and filter all computer, electronic mail, voice mail, and Internet activity by students and staff conducted at Greene County schools.

 

The Board of Education makes no assurances of any kind, expressed or implied, regarding any telecommunication services provided.  The school system or individual schools in the system will not be responsible for any damages the student/user suffers.  Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at the user's own risk.  The school system specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information or software obtained through its electronic services.

 

The Internet network structure makes it extremely difficult for the Board of Education and/or schools to completely regulate and filter the information received or sent by students.  As such, the Board of Education and/or schools cannot assure parents that students will not access undesirable materials or send or receive objectionable communications.  The Board of Education can assure parents that the staff will be trained and reasonable precautions, including content filtering and monitoring, will have been taken to keep Greene County students safe from illegal and/or offensive material in compliance with FCC guidelines.

 

In doing the most controlled monitoring possible, the schools will enforce administrative procedures.  Failure to comply with these administrative procedures shall be deemed grounds for revocation of privileges and disciplinary and/or appropriate legal action for both students and staff.  A copy of the procedures shall be distributed to each teacher in the school system.  The Superintendent will instruct the administration at each school to provide a student copy in the form the school deems appropriate (student handbook, parent and student information sheet, etc.).  The media center at each school and the central office shall house a copy for public examination.  In addition, copies of this Appropriate Telecommunications Use Policy will be found on the Greene County Schools web page (http.//www.greene.k12.ga.us), and a hard copy will be housed at the Technology Department along with a copy of the Children's Internet Protection Act.

 

It shall be the policy of the Greene County Board of Education that the school district shall have in continuous operation, with respect to any computers belonging to the school having access to the Internet:

 

  1. A qualifying "technology protection measure," as that term is defined in Section 1703(b)(1) of the Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000; and

  2. Procedures or guidelines developed by the Superintendent, administrators, and/or other appropriate personnel which provide for monitoring the online activities or users and the use of the chosen technology protection measure to protect against access through such computers to visual depictions that are (i) obscene, (ii) child pornography, or (iii) harmful to minors, as those terms are defined in Section 1703(b)(1) and (2) of the Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000.  Such procedures or guidelines shall be designed to:

 

  1. Provide for monitoring the online activities of users to prevent, to the extent practical, access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and the World Wide Web;

  2. Promote the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct communications;

  3. Prevent unauthorized access, including so-called "hacking," and other unauthorized activities by minors online;

  4. Prevent the unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors; and

  5. Restrict minors access to materials "harmful to minors" as that term is defined in Section 1703(b)(2) of the Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000 which state The term "harmful to minors" means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that  -

            i.  Taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest                 in nudity, sex, or excretion;

            ii.  Depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect                 to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual                 contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd                 exhibition of the genitals; and

            iii. Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value                 to minors.

 

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

 

I.    Acceptable Use

 

Access to the school's Internet and networks is provided to all students (individual work and whole group instruction) for educational purposes and research consistent with the school's educational mission and goals.

 

All teachers shall sign a form saying they have read and understand the administrative procedures for using the Internet and that they understand the consequences for violation of these procedures.

 

 

II.    Privileges

 

The Use of the Internet is a privilege, not a right.  Inappropriate use will result in cancellation of those privileges.  The Superintendent and/or his/her designee will make all decisions regarding user violation of this policy or procedures addressing the use of telecommunications.  With the approval of the Superintendent, further restrictions may be structured to meet the needs at each school.

 

 

III.    School Control

 

The principal of each school will maintain accurate records that include the following:

 

  1. A formal written request filed by a parent and/or guardian limiting a student's telecommunications use to whole group instruction.

  2. A signed Staff Supervision and Responsibilities Form for all employees who are afforded telecommunication access.

 

All users should be mindful when using Greene County School System technology that any actions taken by them will reflect upon the school system as a whole.  All users must behave in an ethical and legal manner.

 

Violations of acceptable conduct on the network will result in loss of network privileges. Intentional misuse causing damage to the network or network components will require financial reimbursement to the district for necessary repairs.

 

Computer network use is also governed by federal and state laws, which specify punitive legal actions that can be taken as well as terms of imprisonment, and/or financial fines.

 

 

IV.    Staff Supervision and Responsibilities

 

Staff members will become familiar with this policy and applicable procedures and will be trained in the use of appropriate telecommunications and informed of "no right to privacy". The Technology Director and/or designee will lead this instruction.  The instruction will include training and any needed clarification on this policy and applicable procedures during the school year.  No staff member will have access to the Internet within a classroom or other school setting unless the staff member has completed appropriate training and signed the Teacher Responsibility Form.  When, in the course of their duties, staff members become aware of student violation of this policy, they must correct the student and address the matter in accordance with this procedure and the procedures outlined in the Greene County Board of Education's general disciplinary policies and procedures.

 

 

V.    Compensation

 

The student and/or student's parents/legal guardians will be responsible for compensating the school system for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the school system relating to or arising from any student violation of this policy or applicable procedures.

 

 

VI.    Security

 

Network security is a high priority.  If the student or teacher identifies or perceives a security problem or a breech of these responsibilities on the Internet or network, the user must immediately notify the principal, technology coordinator, or appropriate staff available. The student must not demonstrate the problem to other student users.  Any student identified as a security risk may be denied access to the network.

 

Passwords shall be kept confidential.  Staff members who reveal passwords to students will be responsible for compensating the school system for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the school system relating or arising from any student violation of this policy or applicable procedures.  Additionally, staff members will be responsible for compensating the school system for any losses, costs or damages incurred by the school system relating or arising from their violation of this policy or applicable procedures.

 

 

VII.    Vandalism

 

Vandalism is defined as "any malicious attempt to harm or destroy the school's network hardware, data or software".  This includes, but is not limited to, intentional uploading, downloading, or creation of computer viruses.  Vandalism is also defined as utilizing any software for the purpose of monitoring the network, performing remote administration, registry management, or any other activity that might cause damage to the schools' network system or any other system, including but not limited to disks that contain viruses. Vandalism may result in cancellation of privileges and other disciplinary action.

 

 

VIII.    Charges

 

The Board of Education assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges or fees including, but not limited to, long distance charges, per minute surcharges, membership fees incurred by on-line users and/or equipment costs. 

 

 

IX.    Unacceptable Use

 

The user is responsible for all of his/her actions and activities involving the Internet and network.  Some examples of prohibited conduct are listed below:

 

  1. Accessing, sending, or posting materials or communications that are:

    a.   Damaging to another person's reputation
    b.   Abusive
    c.   Obscene
    d.   Sexually oriented
    e.   Threatening (violent)
    f.    Harassing or contrary to the Board of Education's policy on harassment
    g.   Illegal
    h.   Related to controlled substances

  2. Using the network for any illegal activity, including violation of copyright or other contracts or transmitting any material in violation of Federal and State regulations.

  3. Copying or downloading any material, other than appropriate e-mail attachments, to a server or workstation connected to the school network without proper permission.

  4. Utilizing any software for the purpose of monitoring the network, performing remote administration, registry management, or any other activity that might cause damage to the schools' network system or any other system.  This includes but is not limited to disks that may contain viruses.

  5. Attempting to read, delete, move, copy, or modify any file on the network system or deliberately interfering with the ability of other system users on the network.

  6. Using personal diskettes, Zip disks, data CDs, or audio CDs (students only).

  7. Wastefully using resources, (time on line, paper for printing, ink, or instructional time, etc.)

  8. Using the network for financial gain.

  9. Gaining access to unauthorized resources or materials.

  10. Invading the privacy of individuals.

  11. Creating materials and signing another person's name without consent, or forging electronic mail messages.

  12. Attempting to log onto the network using another person's password, or falsely posing as a school network administrator.

  13. Utilizing peer-to-peer or other types of file trading software (i.e. Kazaa, Bearshare, Morpheus, etc.)* excluding technology department employees for legitimate and appropriate downloads.

  14. Using any other inappropriate network etiquette, for example, posting anonymous messages or spamming.

  15. Using the network to send, receive, or view messages and images that are inconsistent with the district's educational goals, objectives, and conduct guidelines.

  16. Using the network(s) in a manner inconsistent with directions form teachers and/or other school staff.

  17. Using the network while access privileges are suspended or revoked.

  18. Violations of any of the following acts:  Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988, Race Relations Act, Equal Opportunities Act, Privacy Act, Data Protection Act, and Children's Internet Protection Act of 2001.


X.    Network Etiquette

 

The user is expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette.  These include but are not limited to the following:

 

  1. The user must be polite.  They must not use abusive language in messages to others.

  2. The user must use appropriate language.  They may not swear or use vulgar or inappropriate language.

  3. The user may not reveal personal addresses or telephone numbers.

  4. The user must recognize that Internet use, e-mail, online chatting, and voice mail accounts is not private.  Greene County Board of Education provides no reasonable expectation of privacy in regards to computer or other technology use.  Technicians who operate the system at the schools or on the networks have access to web, e-mail, and telephone monitoring software, computer history, voice mail and e-mail accounts.  Messages relating to illegal activities will be reported to the authorities.

  5. The user may not use the network in any way that would disrupt its users.

  6. The user must consider all communications and information accessible via the data and telephone network to be the Greene County Board of Education's private property with no expectations of privacy.

 

 

XI.    Termination of Privileges

 

An employee's access to and use of the network will be discontinued when his/her Employment is suspended or terminated, whether the termination is voluntary or involuntary.

 

A student's access to and use of the network will be discontinued when the student graduates from high school, withdraws from the Greene County School System, or is suspended or expelled by the Greene County School System.  A student whose access to the network has been suspended or terminated may request, in writing, a review of the decision by the Superintendent or his/her designee.  Whenever possible, a final determination shall be sent to the student in writing within ten working days of receipt of the request for review.

 

Parents and/or legal guardians can choose to terminate their child's privileges for individual Internet use by filing a formal request in writing to their child's school principal.  If a request for termination of privileges is not filed, the parents and/or legal guardians understand that Internet access is designed for educational purposes and that student access will be monitored and filtered.  Although appropriate precautions will be taken, it may be impossible for the agencies involved to restrict all controversial material.  Furthermore, the parents and/or legal guardians will not hold the administrator, technology department employees, or school system employees responsible for materials acquired on the network.

 

Updating User Identification Information

 

Greene County School System may occasionally require new or updated information from users.  Users must provide all such information as requested.  Users also must notify the administration of any changes in user identification information (address, phone, name, school enrollment, etc.).

 

 

 

Greene County Schools
Date Adopted:  6/11/2002
Last Revised:  5/12/2011

Policy Reference Disclaimer: These references are not intended to be part of the policy itself, nor do they indicate the basis or authority for the board to enact this policy. Instead, they are provided as additional resources for those interested in the subject matter of the policy.

Note: The State of Georgia has moved the Georgia Code. This new environment no longer allows us to link directly to the Georgia Code. For example enter 20-02-0211 in the search window and the Georgia Code will appear.
State Code Description
O.C.G.A. 16-09-0090 Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act
O.C.G.A. 16-09-0091 Computer Related Crime
O.C.G.A. 16-09-0092 Definitions
O.C.G.A. 16-09-0093 Computer crimes defined
O.C.G.A. 16-09-0093.1 Misleading transmittal
O.C.G.A. 16-09-0094 Violations
O.C.G.A. 39-05-0003 Immunity
O.C.G.A. 39-05-0001 Online internet safety definitions
O.C.G.A. 39-05-0002 Subscriber's control of minor's use of internet
O.C.G.A. 39-05-0004 Internet safety report of certain information
O.C.G.A. 42-01-0012 State Sexual Offender Registry
O.C.G.A. 50-18-0071 Right of access; timing; fees; denial of requests; impact of electronic records
O.C.G.A. 10-12-12 Retention of electronic records
O.C.G.A. 16-12-0100.1 Electronically furnishing obscene material to minors
O.C.G.A. 16-12-0100.2 Computer or electronic pornography and child exploitation prevention
US Code Description
15 USC 6501 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act - Definitions
15 USC 6502 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act - Collection and use of personal information from and about children on the Internet
15 USC 6503 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act - Safe harbors
15 USC 6504 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act - Actions by states
15 USC 6505 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act - Administration and Applicability