The Board of Education recognizes new technologies shift the manner in which information is accessed, communicated and transferred these changes will alter the nature of teaching and learning. Access to technology will allow pupils to explore databases, libraries, Internet sites, and bulletin boards while exchanging information with individuals throughout the world. The Board supports access by pupils to information sources but reserves the right to limit in school use to materials appropriate for educational purposes. The Board directs the Superintendent to effect training of teaching staff members in skills appropriate to analyzing and evaluating such resources as to appropriateness for educational purposes.

The Board also recognizes technology allows pupils access to information sources that have not been pre-screened by educators using Board approved standards. The Board therefore adopts the following standards of conduct for the use of computer networks and declares unethical, unacceptable or illegal behavior as just cause for taking disciplinary action, limiting or revoking network access privileges and/or instituting legal action.

The Board provides access to computer network/computers for educational purposes only. The Board retains the right to restrict or terminate pupil access to the computer network/computers at any time, for any reason. School district personnel will monitor networks and on-line activity, to maintain the integrity of the networks and ensure their proper use, and ensure compliance with Federal and State laws that regulate Internet safety. Standards for Use of Computer Networks

Any individual engaging in the following actions when using computer networks/computers shall be subject to discipline or legal action:

A. Using the computer network(s)/computers for illegal, inappropriate or obscene purposes, or in support of such activities. Illegal activities are defined as activities that violate federal, state, local laws and regulations. Inappropriate activities are defined as those that violate the intended use of the network. Obscene activities shall be defined as a violation of generally accepted social standards for use of publicly owned and operated communication vehicles.

B. Using the computer network(s)/computers to violate copyrights, institutional or third party copyrights, license agreements or other contracts.

C. Using the computer network(s) in a manner that:

1. Intentionally disrupts network traffic or crashes the network;

2. Degrades or disrupts equipment or system performance;

3. Uses the computing resources of the school district for commercial purposes, financial gain or fraud;

4. Steals data or other intellectual property;

5. Gains or seeks unauthorized access to the files of others or vandalizes the data of another user;

6. Gains or seeks unauthorized access to resources or entities;

7. Forges electronic mail messages or uses an account owned by others;

8. Invades privacy of others;

9. Posts anonymous messages;

10. Possesses any data which is a violation of this policy; and/or

11. Engages in other activities that do not advance the educational purposes for which computer networks/computers are provided.

Internet Safety/Protection

As a condition for receipt of certain Federal funding, the school district shall be in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act, and has installed technology protection measures for all computers in the school district, including computers in media centers/libraries. The technology protection must block and/or filter material and visual depictions that are obscene as defined in Section 1460 of Title 18, United States Code; child pornography, as defined in Section 2256 of title 18, United States Code; are harmful to minors including any pictures, images, graphic image file or other material or visual depiction that taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion; or depicts, describes, or represents in a patently offensive way, with respect to what is suitable for minors, sexual acts or conduct; or taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors.

This Policy also establishes Internet safety policy and procedures in the district as required in the Neighborhood Children’s internet Protection Act. Policy 2361 addresses access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web; the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications; unauthorized access, including “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online; unauthorized disclosures, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors; and measures designed to restrict minors’ access to materials harmful to minors.

Notwithstanding blocking and/or filtering the material and visual depictions prohibited in the Children’s internet Protection Act, and the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Board shall determine other Internet material that is inappropriate for minors. The Board will provide reasonable public notice and will hold one annual public hearing during a regular monthly board meeting or during a designated special board meeting to address and receive public community input on the internet safety policy – Policy and Regulation 2361. In accordance with the provisions of the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Superintendent of Schools or designee will develop and ensure education is provided to every pupil regarding appropriate online behavior, including pupils interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and/or chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.

The school district will certify on an annual basis, that the schools, including media centers/libraries in the district, are in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act and the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act and the school district enforces the requirements of these Acts and this Policy.

Consent Requirement

Parents have the right to prohibit the participation of their children in the use of computer networks and/or the Internet. A copy of this policy will be sent to all parents as information on the use of the Internet in school. In the event a non-consent statement is on file from a student’s parent or legal guardian, the student will not be permitted to participate on computer networks and/or the Internet if he/she has a non-consent statement on file from their parent or legal guardian.

Violations

Individuals violating this policy shall be subject to the consequences as indicated in Regulation No. 2361 and other appropriate discipline, which includes but are not limited to:

1. Use of the network only under direct supervision;

2. Suspension of network privileges;

3. Revocation of network privileges;

4. Suspension of computer privileges;

5. Revocation of computer privileges;

6. Suspension from school;

7. Expulsion from school; and/or

8. Legal action and prosecution by the authorities.

Websites

Photographs of students may be used on the school, teacher, and/or school district web pages as long as there is parental consent to do so. The use of faculty/staff photographs is also prohibited without the written permission of the faculty/staff member. Only the first name and last initial of a student may be used on a web page.

Student Files

Student files and other electronic storage areas will be treated like school lockers. Therefore, these areas shall be considered district property for purposes of inspection and communications. Users should not expect that the information stored will be private.

Intellectual Property Clause

Vernon Township Public Schools shall retain ownership of all software and computer files created with school equipment and/or school networks. All information held in the district networks will become the intellectual property of Vernon Township Public Schools. The system administrator(s) have full rights to these accounts and may review, modify, and/or delete these at any time.

N.J.S.A. 2A:38A-3
Federal Communications Commission: Children’s Internet Protection Act
Federal Communications Commission: Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act

Adopted: 21 April 2005

Revised: September 2012