Acceptable Use Policy

General Information
The Southern Regional School District provides computer equipment, computer services, and Internet access to its students and staff for educational purposes only. Computers are located in classrooms, labs, and libraries. All online activity may be monitored.

Southern Regional has established procedures to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which mandates that:

  •  All computers incorporate technology to protect students from obscene material, child pornography, and other harmful material
  •  Student activity online is monitored
  •  The District maintains an Internet Safety Plan.

Although Southern Regional uses filtering software, all parties must be aware that filters are imperfect. Material that should not get through does get through and material that should not be blocked is blocked.

Students or staff who inadvertently access inappropriate material, should notify the supervising teacher or the Technology Department so that the website may be blocked and to avoid any problems if the access is picked up during the monitoring process.

These guidelines are provided so that staff, community, student users, and the parents/guardians of students are aware of their responsibilities. The district may modify these rules at any time. The acceptance of this document is legally binding and indicates that the parties who signed off have read the terms and conditions carefully, understand their significance, and agree to abide by established rules.

Information Content and Uses of the System
The user agrees not to publish on or over the system any information, which violates or infringes upon the rights of any other person or any information which would be abusive, profane, or sexually offensive. The user agrees not to use the facilities and capabilities of the system to conduct any business or solicit the performance of any activity that is prohibited by law.

Southern Regional provides access to the Internet; however, the District and the system administrators have no control over content. The District has taken steps to prevent access to objectionable content, but potential dangers remain. Students and their parents/guardians are advised that some systems may contain objectionable or illegal material. Southern Regional and the system administrators do not condone the use of such materials and do not permit usage of such materials in the school environment. Knowingly bringing such materials into the school environment may result in disciplinary action. At any time, the systems administrator may prohibit the use of smart phones, or other devices on the district network.

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.

Software Libraries
Software is provided to all users as a resource. No user may install, update, or download software without the consent of the system administrator. Any software having the purpose of damaging other users’ accounts or the district network (e.g., computer viruses) is prohibited. The system administrators, at their sole discretion, reserve the right to refuse posting of files and to remove files. The system administrators, at their sole discretion, further reserve the right to immediately terminate the account or take other action consistent with the district’s discipline code of a user who misuses the software libraries.

Under the provisions of COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) all commercial websites must get prior consent before children 13 and under are permitted to share any personal information about themselves, or are permitted to use any interactive communication technologies where they would be able to share personal information with others. This includes chat rooms, e-mail, instant messaging, personal profiles, personal websites, registration forms, and mailing lists. Although school sites are exempt and may provide these interactive forums for students, we cannot allow students under 13 years of age to visit outside websites without parental consent. Both students in this age group and their teachers will be educated as to the provisions of the law and our AUP.

COPPA requires expressed parental permission before any website that can or is able to collect information via interactive components, allows children under the age of 13 to access their site. Southern Regional must secure this permission regardless of whether information is collected. Simply having the ability to collect the information requires the parental permission for access. (Consent forms sent by parents/guardians via e-mail are not sufficient as parental permission).

The Southern Regional School District is aware of the provisions of and educates its staff and students about their rights and responsibilities. By agreeing to this document, you as the parent/guardian are granting permission for your child under the age of 13 to access such sites as part of the curricular activities of the school.

Students under the age of 13 may not visit any website capable of collecting personal information unless it is for curricular reasons and is under the direction or supervision of a teaching staff member of Southern Regional. Students under the age of 13 visiting such sites without permission or direction will be in violation of this policy.

Online Safety and Privacy
The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires that schools establish a District Internet Safety Plan which is separate from this AUP. It details specific measures that the school is taking to ensure the students’ safety while working online. This and other curricular documents are available upon request from the office of the superintendent.

Email messages on the Southern Regional network are the property of the district and may be accessed at any time. Messages received by the system are retained on the system until deleted by the recipient or until they reach the expiration date set by the system administrator.

Southern Regional will provide email accounts to students for curricular/ educational purposes. Business, personal entertainment, or other non-educational uses are to be avoided. Student use of outside email accounts or web-based email is prohibited and a violation of this policy.

A canceled Southern Regional account will not retain email. Users are expected to remove old messages in a timely fashion. The system administrators may remove messages if not attended to regularly by the user.

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) mandates that student online activity is monitored. District email may be monitored electronically.

It is a violation of this AUP to send email that is defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, racially offensive, or otherwise illegal. Anyone receiving such email should refer it to the proper authorities for investigation. Southern Regional reserves the right to cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to any email transmitted on the Southern Regional network.

Security on any computer system is a high priority. If a user identifies a security problem on the system, the user must notify a system administrator. The user should not demonstrate the problem to others. Users should not allow others to use their account and password. Attempts to log in to the system using either another user’s account or as a system administrator will result in termination of the account. Users should immediately notify a system administrator if a password is lost or stolen, or if they have reason to believe that someone has obtained unauthorized access to their account. Any user identified as a security risk will have his/her account terminated and is subject to other disciplinary action.

Vandalism will result in cancellation of system privileges and other disciplinary measures in compliance with district policy and the discipline code. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user, the system, or other networks that are connected to the Internet, or intentional damage to hardware or software on the system.

The printing facilities of the Southern Regional network should be used judiciously. Unnecessary printing is a drain of the capacity of the networks, adds expense, and shortens the life of the equipment.

Privately Owned Technology Devices
Privately owned technology device refers to any technology hardware or software that is borrowed, purchased, owned and/or maintained by the pupil or staff member at no expense to the school or district.

Privately owned technology devices include any type of computer, wireless phone, electronic reader, tablet, video recording device or camera.

The school district shall assume no responsibility for the security or damage to any privately owned technology device brought to school.

Students may use privately owned technology devices at the sole discretion of the classroom teacher. Teachers who wish to allow the use of privately owned technology devices shall notify their immediate supervisor as to the nature of this use.

Any pupil or staff member who uses a privately owned technology device while in school for any purpose must comply with all district policies and regulations regarding the acceptable use of computers and technology.

The school district assumes no responsibility for any privately owned technology device or software brought to school by a student or staff member.

Individuals violating this policy shall be subject to consequences that include but are not limited to the following:

  •  Use of the network only under direct supervision;
  •  Suspension of network privileges;
  •  Revocation of network privileges;
  •  Suspension of computer privileges;
  •  Revocation of computer privileges;
  •  Suspension from school;
  •  Expulsion from school; and/or
  •  Legal action and prosecution by the authorities.