Acceptable Use Policy
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Acceptable Use Policy -

     Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks

Section 1.      General.  East Allen County Schools is committed to the effective use of technology to both enhance the quality of student learning and the efficiency of Corporation operations. East Allen County Schools also recognizes that safeguards have to be established to ensure that the Corporation’s investment in both hardware and software is achieving the benefits of technology and inhibiting negative side effects.  East Allen County Schools provides network and Internet access, hereafter referred to as Network, to enhance information gathering and communication skills, to assist in resource sharing, and to facilitate the use of technology to achieve educational objectives. The Network is an electronic highway connecting thousands of computers all over the world and millions of individual subscribers. The Network extends the resources of the Corporation’s schools and provides benefits such as:

            A.        Worldwide electronic mail;

            B.        Information and news from research institutions;

            C.        Public domain software and shareware of all types;

            D.        Discussion groups; and,

            E.           Access to the Library of Congress, ERIC, and
                      university libraries.

With access to computers and people all over the world, also comes the availability of material that may not be considered to be of educational value in the context of the school setting. East Allen County Schools has taken precautions to restrict access to controversial materials. However, on a global network, it is impossible to control all materials and an industrious user may discover controversial information. East Allen County Schools firmly believes that the valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweighs the possibility that users may procure materials that are not consistent with the educational goals of the Corporation.

Section 2.      Application.  All members of the East Allen County Schools community are required to follow this policy when using computers or the Network at any Corporation school or facility, or when accessing, or transmitting to, any Corporation computer or the Network from any non-Corporation site or location.  This policy is in effect 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. This policy also applies to personally owned devices when on Corporation property or while connected to any Corporation system or the Network.

Section 3.      User Registration. System administrators (members of the Corporation’s professional staff charged with responsibility for the Network) will provide accounts to individuals. Individuals requesting user status will be asked to read the East Allen County Schools’ Network and Internet Acceptable Use Guidelines and sign the East Allen County Schools’ Network User Agreement, a copy of which is attached to this policy as Exhibit “A.” Parent(s) must also sign for student users. Any problems which arise from a user’s account shall be the responsibility of the account holder. Use of an account by someone other than the registered account holder is forbidden and may be grounds for loss of access privileges. Users should not respond to unsolicited online contact and should report any harassment to the system administrator. Care should be taken to protect personal information, such as name, address, and telephone number. 

Section 4.      Password Creation/Security.   A User’s access to any Corporation computer or the Network is by use of a User ID and password combination. 

A User’s password must be at least eight (8) characters in length and must contain at least one (1) alphabetic and one (1) numeric character.  A User’s password cannot be the same as the User’s ID.  A User’s password cannot start or end with the initials of the User.  A User’s password cannot include the User’s first, middle, or last name. 

Users shall change their passwords every sixty (60) days.  When Users change their password, the new password shall be different from the last three (3) passwords the User has created for use on Corporation computers or the Network. 

Section 5.      Monitored Use.  Network access is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, electronic mail transmissions and other uses of the Corporation’s Network by students and employees shall not be considered confidential and may be monitored at any time to ensure appropriate use for educational or administrative purposes or any other use authorized by this policy.

Section 6.      Filtering.  Each Corporation computer with Internet access shall have a filtering device or software that blocks access to visual depictions that are obscene, pornographic, inappropriate for students, or harmful to minors, as defined by the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act and as determined by the Superintendent, or the Superintendent’s designee.  The Superintendent, or the Superintendent’s designee, may, from time to time, filter or block access to any Internet site deemed to be inconsistent with the Corporation’s educational mission or operational needs.

Section 7.      Disclaimer of Liability.  East Allen County Schools makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, for the Internet access it provides. East Allen County Schools does not guarantee that the functions of its system will meet any specific user requirements, or that its system will be error free or uninterrupted, or that defects will be corrected.  East Allen County Schools shall not be liable for the user’s inappropriate use of the Corporation’s electronic communication resources or Network, for violations of copyright restrictions, for user’s mistakes or negligence, or for costs incurred by users.  East Allen County Schools shall not be responsible for any damages users suffer, including, but not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays or interruptions in service.  East Allen Schools shall not be responsible for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information stored on Corporation diskettes, hard drives, or servers.  East Allen County Schools shall not be responsible for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information gathered through Corporation-provided Internet access.  East Allen County Schools shall not be responsible for damages to personal property used to access Corporation computers, the Network, or other Corporation-provided Internet access.  East Allen County Schools shall not be responsible for unauthorized financial obligations resulting from Corporation-provided Internet access.
 
Section 8.      Limited Personal Use - Employees. Employees may use the Corporation’s electronic mail transmission system to send and/or receive personal messages provided such use is limited to time(s) when the employee is not responsible for student instruction or direct student supervision or otherwise not “on-duty.” However, such limited personal use shall not include messages that involve political lobbying, advertising of products or services for commercial purposes or other personal financial gain, the purchase or sale of goods and services (other than goods or services offered for sale by a not-for-profit organization), or content otherwise prohibited under this policy.  Such personal messages shall contain only text and may not include attachments such as pictures, music, spreadsheets or documents unrelated to the Corporation’s educational mission or operational needs. Employees may also use, on a limited basis, the Corporation-provided Internet access for research or information gathering, unrelated to the Corporation’s educational mission or operational needs, when the employee is not responsible for student instruction or direct student supervision or otherwise not “on-duty.” However, such personal use of the Corporation-provided Internet access shall not include any activity involving “chat rooms” unrelated to the Corporation’s educational mission or operational needs, dating or escort services, participation in gambling (legal or illegal) or on-line games, any enterprise operated by the user for commercial purposes or financial gain, the purchase or sale of goods or services, any activity involving the on-line use of a personal credit/debit card or other personal credit/debit instrument, or any activity otherwise prohibited by this policy.

Section 9.      Personal Use - Students.  Students shall not use the Corporation’s electronic mail transmission system or Corporation-provided Internet access for any purpose unrelated to the Corporation’s educational mission or operational needs.

Section 10.    General Prohibitions. Users may not use Corporation-provided technology to:

          A.  Access, upload, download, create, use, transmit or 
               distribute pornographic, obscene, sexually explicit,
               abusive,slanderous, libelous, or otherwise inappropriate
               language or materials;

          B.  Access, upload, download, create, use, transmit, or
               distribute “hate mail” or materials advocating violence or
               discrimination;
            
          C.  Harass, bully, or threaten another individual;

          D.  Violate any local, state, or federal statute;

          E.  Load software, or alter computer hardware and software 
               settings, without authorization from the Technology
               Department;

          F.  Access non-educational audio and/or video material;

          G.  Plagiarize, violate copyright(s), or otherwise use another
               person’s intellectual property without his or her prior
               approval or proper citation;

          H.  Vandalize, damage, or disable the property of the
               Corporation, another person, or another organization;

          I.  Seek passwords belonging to another user or use another’s
              account;

          J.  Gain unauthorized access to Corporation data to 
              compromise, or monitor, such data;

          K.  Download games, entertainment software, or copyrighted
               material unless part of a course curriculum; or,

          L.  Participate in gambling or on-line games.

Users who violate these prohibitions may be subject to loss of user privileges as well as disciplinary or other legal actions.

Section 11.    Forgery/Unauthorized Access/Interference Prohibited.  Forgery, or attempted forgery, of electronic mail messages is prohibited. Attempts to read, delete, copy, or modify the electronic mail of other system users or deliberate interference with the ability of other system users to send or receive electronic mail is prohibited, unless such activity is undertaken in connection with the authorized monitoring of technology use.  Users who violate these prohibitions may be subject to loss of user privileges as well as disciplinary or other legal actions.

Section 12.    Vandalism Prohibited.  Deliberate attempts to compromise, degrade, or disrupt system performance, including the uploading or creating of computer viruses, shall be considered unauthorized “vandalism.”  Users who violate this prohibition may be subject to loss of user privileges as well as disciplinary or other legal actions.

Section 13.    Network Etiquette. It is the responsibility of students, parents, and Corporation employees to use the Network and its resources appropriately. Users are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of Network etiquette. These rules include (but are not limited to) the following: 

     A.  Use appropriate language. Do not swear, use vulgarities or
          any other inappropriate language; 

     B.  Do not reveal your personal address or phone numbers of
          students or colleagues;

     C.  Do not use the Network in such a way that you would disrupt
          the use of the network by other users, such as listening to
          music sites;

     D.  Delete unnecessary files, responsibly use file transfer to avoid
          excessive use of disk space; and, 

     E.  Do not move or repair any equipment without authorization
          from the Technology Department.

Section 14.    Limitation/Termination/Revocation of User Access.  East Allen County Schools may limit, suspend, or revoke a user’s access for any acceptable use violation.

Section 15.    Parental Role(s)/Notification.  Parents/guardians shall be informed that their children will be using Corporation resources and accounts to access the Network. Parents/guardians shall be informed that, while the Corporation institutes technical methods or systems to regulate students’ Network access, some material accessible via the Network may contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or potentially offensive to some people.  Parents/guardians shall be informed that it is possible for students to purchase goods and services via the Network which could result in unwanted financial obligations. Parents/guardians shall be informed that they may request activities not requiring Network access. A copy of the parental notification form is attached to this policy as Exhibit “B.”

Section 16.    Subordination/Cooperation. All provisions of this policy are subordinate to local, state, and federal statutes.  East Allen County Schools will cooperate fully with local, state or federal officials in any investigation concerning or relating to misuse of the Corporation’s electronic communication systems.

Section 17.    Availability. The East Allen County Schools’ Network and Internet Acceptable Use Policy and Guidelines are available for review by all parents, guardians, staff members, and members of the community. Copies may be obtained by writing: Technology Department, 1000 Prospect Avenue, New Haven, IN  46774.








Exhibit “A”

East Allen County Schools’ Network User Agreement

Network access is coordinated through a complex association of government agencies, and regional and state networks. In addition, the smooth operation of the Network relies upon the proper conduct of the end users who must adhere to strict guidelines. These guidelines are provided here so that you are aware of the responsibilities you are about to acquire. In general, this requires efficient, ethical, and legal utilization of the Network resources. If an East Allen County Schools user violates any of these provisions, his or her account will be reviewed and future access could be suspended, modified or denied. The signature(s) at the end of this document is (are) legally binding and indicates the party (parties) who signed has (have) read the terms and conditions carefully and understand(s) their significance.

I have read and will abide by the East Allen County Schools’ Network and Internet Acceptable Use Guidelines, including the policies related to password creation and security.  I understand that I must change my password every sixty (60) days. I understand that any violation of the policies and guidelines is unethical and may be illegal. Should I commit any violation, my access privileges may be revoked, suspended, or modified and disciplinary action and/or other appropriate legal action may be taken.

User’s Name: ___________________________________________

User’s Signature: ________________________________________

Date: _____________

Parent’s Name (if User is a Student): ________________________

Parent’s Signature: ______________________________________

Date: _____________















Exhibit “B”

Parental Notification - Technology Use

East Allen County Schools is pleased to offer its students access to the Internet.  The Internet is an electronic highway connecting hundreds of thousands of computers and millions of individual users all over the world.  This computer technology will help propel our schools though the communication age by allowing students and staff to access and use resources from distant computers, communicate and collaborate with other individuals and groups around the world, and significantly expand their available information base.  The Internet is a tool for life-long learning.

Families should be aware that some material accessible via the Internet may contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or potentially offensive to some people.  In addition, it is possible to purchase certain goods and services via the Internet which could result in unwanted financial obligations for which a student’s parent or guardian would be liable.

            While it is East Allen County Schools’ intent to make Internet access available in order to further educational goals and objectives, students may find ways to access other materials as well.  Even should East Allen County Schools institute technical methods or systems to regulate students’ Internet access, those methods could not guarantee compliance with East Allen County Schools’ Acceptable Use Policy.  That notwithstanding, East Allen County Schools believes that the benefits to students of access to the Internet exceed any disadvantages.  Ultimately, however, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources.  Toward that end, East Allen County Schools makes the Corporation’s complete Internet policy and procedures available, on request, for review by all parents, guardians, and other members of the community; and provides parents and guardians the option of requesting for their minor children alternative activities not requiring Internet use.