Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy
In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and Regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the District has adopted and will enforce this Internet safety policy that ensures the use of technology protection measures (i.e., filtering or blocking of access to certain material on the Internet) on all District computers with Internet access. Such technology protection measures apply to Internet access by both adults and minors with regard to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or, with respect to the use of computers by minors, considered harmful to such students. The District will provide for the education of students regarding appropriate online behavior including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and regarding cyberbullying awareness and response. Further, appropriate monitoring of online activities of minors, as determined by the building/program supervisor, will also be enforced to ensure the safety of students when accessing the Internet.
Further, the Board of Education’s decision to utilize technology protection measures and other safety procedures for staff and students when accessing the Internet fosters the educational mission of the schools including the selection of appropriate teaching/instructional materials and activities to enhance the schools’ programs; and to help ensure the safety of personnel and students while online.
However, no filtering technology can guarantee that staff and students will be prevented from accessing all inappropriate locations. Proper safety procedures, as deemed appropriate by the applicable administrator/program supervisor, will be provided to ensure compliance with the CIPA.
In addition to the use of technology protection measures, the monitoring of online activities and access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web may include, but shall not be limited to, the following guidelines:
- a) Ensuring the presence of a teacher and/or other appropriate District personnel when students are accessing the Internet including, but not limited to, the supervision of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging and other forms of direct electronic communications. As determined by the appropriate building administrator, the use of email, chat rooms, as well as social networking websites, may be blocked as deemed necessary to ensure the safety of such students;
- b) Monitoring logs of access in order to keep track of the websites visited by students as a measure to restrict access to materials harmful to minors;
- c) In compliance with this Internet Safety Policy as well as the District’s Acceptable Use Policy, unauthorized access (including so-called “hacking”) and other unlawful activities by minors are prohibited by the District; and student violations of such policies may result in disciplinary action; and
- d) Appropriate supervision and notification to minors regarding the prohibition as to unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal identification information regarding such students.
The determination of what is “inappropriate” for minors shall be determined by the District and/or designated school official(s). It is acknowledged that the determination of such “inappropriate” material may vary depending upon the circumstances of the situation and the age of the students involved in online research.
The terms “minor,” “child pornography,” “harmful to minors,” “obscene,” “technology protection measure,” “sexual act,” and “sexual contact” will be as defined in accordance with CIPA and other applicable laws/regulations as may be appropriate and implemented pursuant to the District’s educational mission.
Under certain specified circumstances, the blocking or filtering technology measure(s) may be disabled for adults engaged in bona fide research or other lawful purposes. The power to disable can only be exercised by an administrator, supervisor, or other person authorized by the School District.
The School District shall provide certification, pursuant to the requirements of CIPA, to document the District’s adoption and enforcement of its Internet Safety Policy, including the operation and enforcement of technology protection measures (i.e., blocking/filtering of access to certain material on the Internet) for all School District computers with Internet access.
Internet Safety Instruction
In accordance with New York State Education Law, the School District may provide, to students in grades K through 12, instruction designed to promote the proper and safe use of the Internet. The Commissioner shall provide technical assistance to assist in the development of curricula for such course of study which shall be age appropriate and developed according to the needs and abilities of students at successive grade levels in order to provide awareness, skills, information and support to aid in the safe usage of the Internet.
Under the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, students will also be educated on appropriate interactions with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, as well as cyberbullying awareness and response.
Access to Inappropriate Content/Material and Use of Personal Technology or Electronic Devices
Despite the existence of District policy, regulations and guidelines, it is virtually impossible to completely prevent access to content or material that may be considered inappropriate for students. Students may have the ability to access such content or material from their home, other locations off school premises and/or with a student’s own personal technology or electronic device on school grounds or at school events.
The District is not responsible for inappropriate content or material accessed via a student’s own personal technology or electronic device or via an unfiltered Internet connection received through a student’s own personal technology or electronic device.
The District’s Acceptable Use Policy and accompanying Regulations will be disseminated to parents and students in order to provide notice of the school’s requirements, expectations, and student’s obligations when accessing the Internet.
The District has provided reasonable public notice and has held at least one (1) public hearing or meeting to address the proposed Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy prior to Board adoption. Additional public notice and a hearing or meeting is not necessary when amendments are made to the Internet Safety Policy in the future.
The District’s Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy must be made available to the FCC upon request. Furthermore, appropriate actions will be taken to ensure the ready availability to the public of this policy as well as any other District policies relating to the use of technology.
The Internet Safety/Internet Content Filtering Policy is required to be retained by the school for at least five (5) years after the funding year in which the policy was relied upon to obtain E-rate funding.