Wilkes County Schools

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3000 Series - Educational Programs » 3226/4205 Internet Safety

3226/4205 Internet Safety

It is the policy of Wilkes County Board of Education to: (a) prevent user access to or transmission of inappropriate material on the Internet or through email, file sharing, or other forms of direct electronic communications via its technological resources; (b) prevent unauthorized access to the Internet; (c) prevent unauthorized access to devices or programs connected to or accessible through the Internet; (d) prevent other unlawful online activity; (e) prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personally identifiable information of minors; and (f) comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act and other applicable laws. 

A. Access to Inappropriate Material

To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet filters”) will be used to block or filter access to inappropriate information on the Internet or other forms of electronic communications. Specifically, audio and visual depictions that are deemed to be obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors will be blocked. Student access to other inappropriate online materials will also be restricted. Audio or visual materials that depict violence, nudity, or graphic language that do not serve a legitimate instructional purpose will be blocked.  
Due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, sometimes Internet websites that should be blocked are not detected by the Internet filter. If a student or employee encounters a website or web content available through the school system’s Internet access that they believe is obscene, pornographic, is “harmful to minors” as defined by CIPA, or is otherwise inappropriate for users, they must immediately notify the proper school official. Students should notify a teacher or the school principal, and employees should notify their building level administrator or the technology department.
In addition, sometimes online content is blocked by the Internet filter when it should be available. An employee who believes that a website has been improperly blocked by the school system’s filter should bring the concern to the attention of the technology department to request access. Sites that pose a security risk will not be unblocked.  
Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled for adults or, in the case of minors, minimized only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes. Procedures for disabling or modifying any technology protection measures are the responsibility of the technology director or designated representatives.

B. Inappropriate Network Usage

All users of school system technological resources are expected to comply with the requirements established in policy 3225/4312/7320, Technology Responsible Use. In particular, users are prohibited from: (a) attempting to gain unauthorized access, including "hacking" and engaging in other unlawful activities; and (b) engaging in the unauthorized disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identifying information regarding minors. 

C. Privacy and Permissions

To the extent practical, steps will be taken to promote the safety, security, and privacy of users of the school system’s technological resources, especially when using email, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications.
Certain websites require permission for use by students. Teachers are responsible for reading the Terms of Use for all websites before use with students and receiving parental permission if required. Teachers must thoroughly preview all online resources before using them with students. Content must be age-appropriate and aligned with the North Carolina approved curriculum. In accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), students who are under the age of 13 may be required to have parental/guardian consent before using certain websites. Teachers who are uncertain of parental/guardian consent should gain permission using the current Wilkes County Schools’ COPPA Permission Form. For these websites, teachers will be responsible for providing the proper agreements to parents and receiving parental permission before the site is used by students.

D. Education, Supervision, and Monitoring

It is the responsibility of school personnel to educate, supervise, and monitor appropriate usage of the online computer network and access to the Internet in accordance with this policy, the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act, and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act.
Students will receive age-appropriate training from teachers for using the school system’s Internet services. The training provided will be designed to promote the school system’s commitment to educating students in digital literacy and citizenship, including:
  1. the standards and acceptable use of Internet services as set forth in policy 3225/4312/7320, Technology Responsible Use;
  1. student safety while using the Internet, appropriate online behavior, including behavior on social networking sites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response; and
  1. compliance with the E-rate requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act.
Following receipt of this training, the student must acknowledge that he or she received the training, understood it, and will follow the provisions of policy 3225/4312/7320, Technology Responsible Use.
The school district monitors and archives employee email messages for 3 years in compliance with Board of Education policies, applicable laws, and regulations. Electronic information is subject to inspection or deletion by authorized members of the technology department.
The superintendent will develop any regulations needed to implement this policy and will submit any certifications necessary to demonstrate compliance with this policy.
Legal References:  Children’s Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 254(h); Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 254(l); Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, 47, U.S.C. 254(h) 
Cross References:  Professional Development and Assistance (policy 1610/7800), Technology in the Educational Program (policy 3220), Technology Responsible Use (policy 3225/4312/7320), School Improvement Plan (policy 3430), Use of Equipment, Materials, and Supplies (policy 6520), Network Security (policy 6524) 
Adopted:  January 10, 2022 at a public meeting, following normal public notice
Replaces:  Acceptable Use/Internet Safety Policy 3225/7320 adopted May 17, 2004, revised November 6, 2005, July 7, 2008, June 7, 2010, January 31, 2011, December 5, 2011, June 16, 2014, June 1, 2015