Student Use of the District's Computer Systems and Internet Safety
The Litchfield Board of Education is pleased to offer students access to the district's computers and computer networks, including access to electronic mail (email) and the Internet (which will be referred to collectively as "computer systems".) Access to the school's computer systems will enable students to explore libraries, databases, and bulletin boards while exchanging messages with others. Such access is provided solely for education-related purposes. Use of the district's computer systems will be allowed only for students who act in a considerate and responsible manner in using such systems.
The Board of Education and the Administration believe in the educational value of such computer systems and recognize their potential to support our curriculum by expanding resources available for staff and student use. Our goal in providing this service is to promote educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation and communication.
These computer systems are expensive to purchase, install and maintain. As the property of the district these computer systems must be carefully handled and their integrity preserved for the benefit of all. Therefore, access to the computer systems is a privilege, and not a right. Students will be required to adhere to a set of policies and procedures, as set forth in detail in the students' "Regulations for the Acceptable Use of Technology" (RAUT). Violations may lead to withdrawal of the access privilege and/or disciplinary measures in accordance with the Board's student discipline policy.
Definitions (As described in federal regulations. See "Legal References".)
Obscene – means any material or performance if, a) taken as a whole, it predominantly appeals to the prurient interest, b) it depicts or describes in a patently offensive way a prohibited sex act and c) taken as a whole, does not have serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. For the purposes of this section, "prohibited sex act" means erotic fondling, nude performance, sexual excitement, sado-masochistic abuse, masturbation or sexual intercourse.
Child pornography –means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where -
(a) the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(b) such visual depiction is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
(c) such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
Students are responsible for good behavior on school computer systems just as they are in a classroom or a school hallway. Communications on the computer systems are often public in nature and general school rules for behavior and communications apply. It is expected that users will comply with district standards and will act in a responsible and legal manner, at all times in accordance with district standards, as well as with state and federal laws.
It is important that students and parents understand that the district, as the owner of the computer systems, reserves the right to monitor and review the use of these computer systems. The district intends to monitor and review as needed to ensure that the systems are being used for district-related educational purposes.
As part of the monitoring and reviewing process, the district will retain the capacity to bypass any individual password of a student or other user. The system's security aspects, such as personal passwords and the message delete function for e-mail, can be bypassed for these purposes. The district's ability to monitor and review is not restricted or neutralized by these devices. The monitoring and reviewing process also includes oversight of Internet site access and of document downloading and printing.
Therefore, all users must be aware that they should not have any expectation of personal privacy in the use of these computer systems.
Misuse of the computer systems, or violations of the "Regulations for the Acceptable Use of Technology" (RAUT), may result in loss of access to such computer systems as well as other disciplinary action, including suspension and/or expulsion, depending on the specific conduct.
Most importantly, the Board and the Administration will urge any student who receives any harassing, threatening, intimidating or other improper message through the computer system to report this immediately. It is the Board's policy that no student should be required to tolerate such treatment, regardless of the identity of the sender of the message. Please report these events!
The Administration will take measures: to assure the safety and security of students when using email, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications; to prohibit unauthorized access, including "hacking" and other unlawful activities by minors online; to prohibit unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information regarding students; and to restrict students' access to online materials, including obscene materials and pornography.
Legal References: Children's Internet Protection Act (Public Law 106-554)
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-182b; 53a-183; 53a-250
Electronic Communication Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510 through 2520
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Pub. L. 107-110), to be codified at 20 U.S.C. § 6777
Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973) (definition of obscene)
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-193 (definition of obscene)
Litchfield Board of Education
Regulation Adopted: February 11, 2001
Regulation Revised: April 21, 2010
Regulation Reviewed: January 19, 2011
Regulation Revised: June 17, 2015