(Acceptable Use and Internet Safety)
This policy addresses the limitations on the use of publicly owned computer hardware and software.
1. To prevent the misappropriation of unauthorized use of publicly owned computer hardware and software by outlining the limitations, offenses and penalties related to the same.
2. To ensure that procedures for proper handling of acquired proprietary software products are communicated to all employees and agents.
3. To protect the Board from potential liability to third party vendors with respect to the inappropriate use of external software products.
This policy shall be applicable to all certificated, classified and contracted staff, or any person authorized access, in the use of all computer hardware, network services and software purchased and/or developed and owned by the Ohio Department of Education, the state of Ohio or the Board.
Employees should remember that computers, information systems and networks, like paper files, desks, notebooks, etc. are Mahoning County Board of Education assets provided to employees to assist them in performing their work. These tools, and the work product they contain, are Board property and therefore subject to Board review and control. The efficient operation of these vital resources is critical to the success of the Board and it is therefore the responsibility of all employees to use Board computer resources appropriately. Utilization of computer hardware, software, peripheral equipment and networks owned and/or leased by the Board and/or state is limited to work-related matters.
Maintaining system security and data integrity is everyone’s responsibility. Unless specifically authorized to do so, Board employees and authorized persons shall not do the following.
A. Install personal software on any computer hardware owned by the Board.
B. Download software from bulletin boards and other computer systems, including public domain software.
Authorization shall only be made by the designee or designees of the Board.
Technology can greatly enhance the instructional program, as well as the efficiency of the District. The Board recognizes that careful planning is essential to ensure the successful, equitable and cost-effective implementation of technology-based materials, equipment, systems and networks. Computers and use of the District network or on-line services support learning and enhance instruction, as well as assist in administration. Computer networks allow people to interact with many computers; the Internet allows people to interact with hundreds of thousands of networks. All computers are to be used in a responsible, efficient, ethical and legal manner. Failure to adhere to this policy and the guidelines below will result in the revocation of the user’s access privilege. Unacceptable uses of the computer/network include but are not limited to:
1. violating the conditions of State and Federal law dealing with students’ and employees’ rights to privacy;
2. using profanity, obscenity or other language which may be offensive to another user;
3. reposting (forwarding) personal communication without the author’s prior consent;
4. copying commercial software and/or other material in violation of copyright law;
5. using the network for financial gain, for commercial activity or for any illegal activity;
6. “hacking” or gaining unauthorized access to other computers or computer systems, or attempting to gain such unauthorized access;
7. accessing and/or viewing inappropriate material and
8. downloading of freeware or shareware programs.
The Superintendent/designee shall develop a plan to address the short- and long-term technology needs and provide for compatibility of resources among school sites, offices and other operations. As a basis for this plan, he/she shall examine and compare the costs and benefits of various resources and shall identify the blend of technologies and level of service necessary to support the instructional program.
Because access to on-line services provides connections to other computer systems located all over the world, users (and parents of users who are under 18 years old) must understand that neither the school nor the District can control the content of the information available on these systems. Some of the information available is controversial and sometimes offensive.
The Board does not condone the use of such materials. Employees, students and parents of students must be aware that the privileges to access on-line services are withdrawn from users who do not respect the rights of others or who do not follow the rules and regulations established. A user’s agreement is signed to indicate the user’s acknowledgment of the risks and regulations for computer/on-line services use. The District has implemented technology-blocking measures to prevent students from accessing inappropriate material on school computers. The District has also purchased monitoring devices which maintain a running log of Internet activity, recording which sites a particular user has visited.
“Harmful to minors” is defined as any picture, image, graphic image file or other visual depiction that:
1. taken as a whole and with respect to minors appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex or excretion;
2. 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 lewd exhibition of genitals or
3. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value as to minors.
Annually, a student who wishes to have computer network and Internet access during the school year must read the acceptable use and Internet safety policy and submit a properly signed agreement form. Students and staff are asked to sign a new agreement each year after reviewing the policies and regulations of the District.
[Adoption date: April 17, 2003]
(Acceptable Use and Internet Safety)
The following guidelines and procedures shall be complied with by staff, students or community members who are specifically authorized to use the District’s computers or on-line services.
1. Use appropriate language. Do not use profanity, obscenity or other language which may be offensive to other users. Illegal activities are strictly forbidden.
2. Do not reveal your personal home address or phone number or those of other students or colleagues.
3. Note that electronic mail (e-mail) is not guaranteed to be private. Systems managers have access to all messages relating to or in support of illegal activities and such activities may be reported to the authorities.
4. Use of the computer and/or network is not for financial gain or for any commercial or illegal activity.
5. The network should not be used in such a way that it disrupts the use of the network by others.
6. All communications and information accessible via the network should be assumed to be property of the District.
7. Rules and regulations of on-line etiquette are subject to change by the administration.
8. The user in whose name an on-line service account is issued is responsible for its proper use at all times. Users shall keep personal account numbers, home addresses and telephone numbers private. They shall use this system only under their account numbers issued by the District.
9. The system shall be used only for purposes related to education or administration. Commercial, political and/or personal use of the system is strictly prohibited. The administration reserves the right to monitor any computer activity and on-line communications for improper use.
10. Users shall not use the system to encourage the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco nor shall they promote unethical practices or any activity prohibited by law or Board policy.
11. Users shall not view, download or transmit material that is threatening, obscene, disruptive or sexually explicit or that could be construed as harassment or disparagement of others based on their race, national origin, citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion or political beliefs.
12. Copyrighted material may not be placed on the system without the author’s permission.
13. Vandalism results in the cancellation of user privileges. Vandalism includes uploading/downloading any inappropriate material, creating computer viruses and/or any malicious attempt to harm or destroy equipment or materials or the data of any other user.
14. Users shall not read other users’ mail or files; they shall not attempt to interfere with other users’ ability to send or receive electronic mail, nor shall they attempt to read, delete, copy, modify or forge other users’ mail.
15. Users are expected to keep messages brief and use appropriate language.
16. Users shall report any security problem or misuse of the network to the teacher or the principal or immediate supervisor.
(Approval date: April 17, 2003)