Policy EEB - Instructional Resources: Internet Policy
Issue Date: December 16, 2020
Updated: January 19, 2022
[Note that before an internet safety policy is adopted or revised, a school board must provide reasonable public notice and must hold at least one public meeting or hearing regarding the policy. (Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-3(6) (April 8, 2019) In addition, school boards are required to encourage schools to involve teachers, parents, students, school employees and community members in developing local school policies. (Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-3(3) (April 8, 2019).) Moreover, school community councils are to make recommendations regarding safe technology use and digital citizenship. (Utah Code § 53G-7-1202(3)(a)(iii)(D).) Therefore, this model policy may be used as a framework but should not be adopted without meeting the public notice and hearing requirements and the form of the adopted policy should reflect the input from the various groups identified.]
Access to the internet through District computer networks or systems or by means of devices owned by the District shall be regulated by filtering software or other measures which prevent users from accessing images which are obscene or pornographic or otherwise harmful. Student online activity shall be monitored and specified staff shall have responsibility for supervision of student online activities. In addition, students shall be educated by appropriate staff members regarding appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals through chat rooms or social networking websites and cyberbullying awareness and response. Each school’s community council shall also provide for education and awareness on safe technology use and digital citizenship which empowers students to make smart media and online choices and parents to know how to discuss safe technology use with their children.
The District will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to any illegal activities conducted through the District system or District-owned devices.
In the event there is an allegation that a student has violated the District Internet Use Policy, the student will be provided with a notice and opportunity to be heard in the manner set forth in the student disciplinary code.
Disciplinary actions will be tailored to meet specific concerns related to the violation and to assist the student in gaining the self-discipline necessary to behave appropriately on an electronic network. If the alleged violation also involves a violation of other provisions of the student disciplinary code, the violation will be handled in accord with the applicable provision of the code.
Employee violation of the District Internet Use Policy will be handled in accordance with District policy and collective bargaining agreement, if applicable.
Any District administrator may terminate the account privileges of a guest user by providing notice to the user. Guest accounts that are not active for more than ninety days may be removed, along with the user’s files, without notice to the user.
Search and Seizure
System users do not have an expectation of privacy in the contents of their personal files and/or personal electronic mail accounts and records of their online activity accessed via the District’s electronic communications system or through District-owned devices.
Routine maintenance and monitoring of the system may lead to discovery that the user has violated or is violating the District Internet Use Policy, the student disciplinary code, or the law.
An individual search will be conducted if there is reasonable suspicion that a user has violated the law or the student disciplinary code. The nature of the investigation will be reasonable and in the context of the nature of the alleged violation.
District employees should be aware that their personal files and/or personal electronic mail accounts on the District’s system or on District-owned devices may be discoverable according to the Government Records Access Management Act.
Academic Freedom, Free Speech, and Selection of Material
Board policies on academic freedom and free speech will govern the use of the Internet.
When using the Internet for class activities, teachers will:
- Select material that is appropriate in light of the age of the students and that is relevant to the course objectives.
- Preview the materials and sites they require students to access to determine the appropriateness of the material contained on or accessed through the site.
- Provide guidelines and lists of resources to assist their students in channeling their research activities effectively and properly.
- Assist their students in developing the skills to ascertain the truthfulness of information, distinguish fact from opinion, and engage in discussion about controversial issues while demonstrating tolerance and respect for those who hold divergent views.
Parental Notification and Responsibility
The District will notify the parents about the District network and the policies governing its use. Parents must sign an agreement to allow their student to have an individual account. Parents may request alternative activities for their child(ren) that do not require Internet access.
Parents have the right at any time to investigate the contents of their child(ren)’s email files. Parents have the right to request the termination of their child(ren)’s individual account at any time.
The District Internet Use Policy contains restrictions on accessing inappropriate material and student use will be supervised. However, there is a wide range of material available on the Internet, some of which may not be in accordance with the particular set of values held by an individual student’s family. The District will encourage parents to specify to their child(ren) what material is and is not acceptable for their child(ren) to access through the District system.
[Optional, if remote access is provided] Parents are responsible for monitoring their student’s use of [name of network system] when they are accessing the system from home.
The following levels of access will be provided:
- Classroom Accounts
- Elementary age students will be granted Internet access only through a classroom account. Elementary students may be provided with an individual account under special circumstances at the request of their teacher and with the approval of their parent. An agreement will only be required for an individual account, which must be signed by the student and his or her parent. Parents may specifically request that their child(ren) not be provided access through the classroom account by notifying the District in writing (or whatever procedure the District uses for other permissions).
- Individual Accounts for students
- Secondary students may be provided with individual Internet accounts. Secondary students [will] [will not] have remote access to the system. A written agreement will be required for an individual account. This agreement must be signed by the student and his or her parent.
- Individual Accounts for District Employees
- District employees will be provided with an individual account and [will] [will not] have remote access to the system. Communications within the course and scope of employees’ duties shall be made through this account. No written agreement will be required.
Guidelines for Internet Use
- Personal Safety (These restrictions are for students only):
- Users will not post or provide personal contact information about themselves or other people. Personal contact information includes address, telephone, school address, work address, etc.
- Users will not agree to meet with someone they have met online without their parent’s approval and participation,
- Users will promptly disclose to their teacher or other school employee any message they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Illegal Activities
- Users will not attempt to gain unauthorized access to the District system or to any other computer system through the District system, or go beyond their authorized access. This includes attempting to log in through another person’s account or access another person's files. These actions are illegal, even if only for the purposes of “browsing.”
- Users will not make deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system performance or destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means. These actions are illegal.
- Users will not use the District system to engage in any other illegal act, such as arranging for a drug sale or the purchase of alcohol, engaging in criminal gang activity, threatening the safety of a person, etc.
- System Security
- Users are responsible for the use of their individual account and should take all reasonable precautions to prevent others from being able to use their account. Under no conditions should a user provide his or her password to another person.
- Users will immediately notify the system administrator if they have identified a possible security problem. Users will not search for or attempt to discover security problems, because this may be construed as an illegal attempt to gain access.
- Users will avoid the inadvertent spread of computer viruses by following the District virus protection procedures.
- Inappropriate Language
- Restrictions against inappropriate language apply to public messages, private messages, and material posted on Web pages.
- Users will not use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, slanderous or disrespectful language.
- Users will not post information that, if acted upon, could cause damage or a danger of disruption.
- Users will not engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks. Users will not harass another person.
- Harassment is persistently acting in a manner that distresses or annoys another person. If a user is told by a person to stop sending the person messages, they must stop.
- Users will not knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization
- Request for Privacy
- Users will not re-post a message that was sent to them privately without permission of the person who sent them the message.
- Users will not post private information about another person.
- Respecting Resource Limits
- Users will use the system only for educational and professional or career development activities (no time limit), and limited, high-quality, personal research. For students, the limit on personal research is no more than ________ hours per week. [The last sentence is optional and probably only necessary if the District allows remote access.]
- Users will not download large files unless absolutely necessary. If necessary, users will download the file at a time when the system is not being heavily used and immediately remove the file from the system computer to their personal computer or diskette.
- Users will not post chain letters or engage in “spamming.” Spamming is sending an annoying or unnecessary message to a large number of people.
- Users will check their email frequently, delete unwanted messages promptly, and stay within their email quota.
- Users will be subscribed only to high quality discussion group mail lists that are relevant to their education or professional/career development.
- Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement
- Users will not plagiarize works that they find on the Internet. Plagiarism is taking the ideas or writings of others and presenting them as if they were original to the user.
- Users will respect the rights of copyright owners. Copyright infringement occurs when an individual inappropriately reproduces a work that is protected by a copyright. If a work contains language that specifies acceptable use of that work, the user should follow the expressed requirements. If the user is unsure whether or not they can use a work, they should request permission from the copyright owner.
- Inappropriate Access to Material
- Users will not use the District system or District-owned devices to access material that is profane or obscene (pornography), that advocates illegal or dangerous acts, or that advocates violence or discrimination towards other people (hate literature). (See Policy FGAB and Policy DMA.) For students, a special exception may be made if the purpose is to conduct research and access is approved by both the teacher and the parent. District employees may access the above material only in the context of legitimate research.
- If a user inadvertently accesses such information, he or she should immediately disclose the inadvertent access in a manner specified by their school. This will protect users against an allegation that they have intentionally violated the Internet Use Policy.
The District may establish a website. Material appropriate for placement on the District website includes: District information, school information, teacher or class information, student projects, and student extracurricular organization information. Personal information not related to education will not be allowed on the District website.
The Superintendent will designate a District Web Publisher, responsible for maintaining the school websites and monitoring class, teacher, student, and extracurricular web pages. The Web Publisher will develop style and content guidelines for official District and school web materials and develop procedures for the placement and removal of such material. All official District material posted on the District website must be approved through a process established by the District Web Publisher.
The Principal will designate a School Web Publisher, responsible for managing the school website and monitoring class, teacher, student, and extracurricular web pages. All official material originating from the school will be consistent with the District style and content guidelines and approved through a process established by the School Web Publisher. The School Web Publisher will develop additional guidelines for the school website.
Collection of User Information
- The identity of the school’s Web Publisher and contact information (telephone number or email address);
- A summary of the personally identifiable information collected by the school or school district and contained on its website;
- How the personally identifiable information collected by the school or District is used by the school or District;
- The school’s or District’s practices concerning disclosure of the personally identifiable information on the website;
- How the user who accesses the school or District website can request access to his or her personally identifiable information and access to correct the information; and
- A general description of the security measures in place to protect the user’s personally identifiable information from unintended disclosure.
Staff Web Pages
Staff may develop web pages that provide a resource for others. Staff will be responsible for maintaining their resource sites. Staff web pages will not be considered official material, but will be developed in a manner as to reflect well upon the District.
Student Web Pages
- Students may create a website as part of a class activity. Material presented on a student class activity website must meet the educational objectives of the class activity.
- With the approval of the Principal or Web Publisher, students may establish personal web pages. Material presented in the student’s personal website must be related to the student’s educational and career preparation activities.
- It will not be considered a violation of a student’s right to free speech to require removal of material that fails to meet established educational objectives or that is in violation of a provision of the Internet Use Policy or student disciplinary code. However, student material may not be removed merely on the basis of disagreement with the views expressed by the student.
- Student web pages must include the following notice: “This is a student web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not be attributed to the District.”
- Student web pages will be removed at the end of the school year unless special arrangements are made. A notice will be provided to students prior to such removal.
Extracurricular Organization Web Pages
- With approval of the Principal, extracurricular organizations may establish web pages. Material presented on the organization web page must relate specifically to organization activities.
- Organization web pages must include the following notice: "This is a student extracurricular organization web page. Opinions expressed on this page shall not be attributed to the District."
Each school shall develop standards for disclosure of student information that are considered generally acceptable in light of the age of the students attending the school.
[Alternative: The following standards will be followed regarding the disclosure of student information on school websites:
- Elementary age students:
- First and last initial, no pictures of identifiable students
- Middle school students:
- First and last names
- Parental approval of disclosure in accord with the standards must be obtained.]
Web Page Requirements
- All District Internet Use Policy provisions will govern material placed on the web.
- Web pages shall not:
- Contain personal contact information about students beyond that permitted by the school (or District) and parent.
- Display photographs or videos of any identifiable individual without a signed model release. Model releases for students under the age of 18 must by signed by their parent or guardian.
- Contain copyrighted or trademarked material belonging to others unless written permission to display such material has been obtained from the owner. There will be no assumption that the publication of copyrighted material on a website is within the fair use exemption.
- Material placed on the website is expected to meet academic standards of proper spelling, grammar, and accuracy of information.
- Students may retain the copyright on the material they create that is posted on the web. District employees may retain the copyright on material they create and post if appropriate under District policies.
- Each web page will carry a notice indicating when it was last updated and the email address of the person responsible for the page.
- All web pages should have a link at the bottom of the page that will help users find their way to the appropriate home page.
- Users should retain a back-up copy of their web pages.
Handbook, Forms, and Agreements
Exhibits 1 - 4 of this policy document contain the student internet handbook, forms, and agreements to implement this policy and regulation.