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1. Introduction

1.1      Computer use is a valuable and necessary component of the educational system. School use must be in support of education and research and consistent with educational objectives. In addition, varying work responsibilities result in access to information sources such as software, programs, the Internet, district network, etc. Access is a privilege, not a right and entails responsibility. Technology protection measures are in place and used for all Internet access. Monitoring of Internet usage for minors and adults is policy for the District.

1.2      Although employees and students may have access to these information sources, their use must be authorized. Access and authorization to information and equipment carry a corresponding responsibility to their appropriate use. District equipment and access is intended to be used for educational and professional or career development activities.

1.3    Outside of school, families can give the same guidance of Internet use as they exercise with information sources such as television, telephones, radio, movies, and other possibly offensive media.

1.4    All users and users’ families are hereby notified that some material accessible via the Internet or which may be sent or received through Internet email accounts 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.

1.5    The District’s Acceptable Use Policy is to prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful activities by users online, prevent unauthorized disclosure of or access to sensitive information, and to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”).  As used in this policy, “user” includes anyone using the computers, Internet, email, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications or equipment provided by the District (the “network”) or of accounts established by or under the direction of the District.  Only current students and employees are authorized to use the network or District accounts.

1.6    All users, including students, teachers, administrators, and educational organizations are covered by this policy and are expected to be familiar with its provisions.

2. Acceptable Uses of the Computer Network or the Internet

2.1    The resources available are for educational purposes. Personal files will be subject to the same rules as educational files and become the property of the school district.

2.2    Schools must verify each year that students using the computer network and Internet access for that school year have a signed page acknowledging this policy.

2.3    Students who are under 18 must have their parents or guardians sign this page and schools must keep it on file. Once signed that permission/acknowledgement page remains in effect until revoked by the parent, or the student loses the privilege of using the District’s network due to violation of this policy or is no longer a Sevier School District student.  Employees and other users are required to follow this policy.  Even without signature, all users must follow this policy and report any misuse of the network or Internet or school accounts to a teacher, supervisor or other appropriate District personnel.  Access is provided for education and District business.  Users should take all reasonable precautions against receiving or downloading messages, images, or other data not appropriate for school use. Staff may use the Internet for incidental personal use during duty-free time.  

2.4    By using the network or District accounts, users have agreed to this policy.  If a user is uncertain about whether a particular use is acceptable or appropriate, he or she should consult a teacher, supervisor or other appropriate District personnel.     

3.    Unacceptable Use

3.1    Students shall not reveal on the Internet personal information about themselves or other persons. For example, students should not reveal their name, home address, telephone number, or display photographs of themselves or others; Students should not meet in person anyone they have met only on the Internet;
3.2 District resources or accounts shall not be used for:
3.2.1 gaining unauthorized access to computer or telecommunications networks
3.2.2 attempting to gain unauthorized access to the network
3.2.3 intercepting communications intended for other persons
3.2.4 interfering with the operations of technology resources, including placing a computer virus on any computer system
3.2.5 accessing or sharing sexually explicit, obscene, potentially damaging, dangerous, disruptive, or otherwise inappropriate materials false or defamatory information, personal or generalized attacks or harassment or libelous material concerning a person or group of people
3.2.6 logging in through another person’s account or attempting to access another user’s password
3.2.7 accessing or modifying another person’s files when such access or modification has not been authorized by that person
3.2.8 sending defamatory messages, furthering any illegal act, including infringing on any intellectual property rights
3.2.9 downloading, uploading, or distributing any files, software, or other material in violation of federal copyright laws
3.2.10 plagiarizing written work of others
3.2.11 creating, sending, or storing messages or other data that are considered offensive, contain sexually explicit material, or otherwise offensively address the age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, national origin, or disability of a person or a group of people
3.2.12 creating, sending, or storing threatening messages pertaining to dangerous devices such as weaponry or explosive devices
3.2.13 violating any state or federal law or municipal ordinance, such as:  Accessing or transmitting pornography of any kind, obscene depictions, harmful materials, materials that encourage others to violate the law, confidential information or copyrighted materials
3.2.14 engaging in criminal activities that can be punished under law
3.2.15 selling or purchasing illegal items or substances
3.2.16 obtaining and/or using anonymous email sites; spamming; spreading viruses
3.2.17 causing harm to others or damage to their property
3.2.18 posting personal contact information for themselves or others
3.2.19 deleting, copying, modifying, or forging other users' names, emails, files, or data (except for authorized use of shared files); disguising one's identity, impersonating other users, or sending anonymous email
3.2.20 damaging computer equipment, files, data or the network in any way, including intentionally accessing, transmitting or downloading computer viruses or other harmful files or programs, or disrupting any computer system performance
3.2.21 using any District computer to pursue “hacking,” internal or external to the District, or attempting to access information protected by privacy laws
3.2.22 accessing, transmitting or downloading large files, including "chain letters" or any type of "pyramid schemes"
3.2.23 engaging in uses that jeopardize access or lead to unauthorized access into others’ accounts or other computer networks
3.2.24 using another’s account password(s) or identifier(s)
3.2.25 interfering with other users' ability to access their account(s)
3.2.26 disclosing anyone’s password to others or allowing them to use another’s account(s)
3.2.27 using the network or Internet or District account for Commercial purposes
3.2.28 using the Internet for personal financial gain, personal advertising, promotion    
3.2.29 conducting for-profit business activities and/or engaging in non-government related fundraising or public relations activities such as solicitation for religious purposes or lobbying for personal political purposes using the Internet to bully, intimidate, harass and/or mislead any person.
3.3    These are examples of inappropriate activity on the District web site, but the District reserves the right to take immediate action regarding activities:
3.3.1 that create security and/or safety issues for the District, students, employees, schools, network or computer resources
3.3.2 that expend District resources on content the District in its sole discretion determines lacks legitimate educational content/purpose
3.3.3 that are determined by District as inappropriate     

4.    User Responsibilities:

4.1    It is the responsibility of any person using Sevier School District resources to read, understand, and follow these guidelines. In addition, users are expected to exercise reasonable judgment in interpreting these guidelines and in making decisions about the appropriate use of Sevier School District resources. Any person with questions regarding the application or meaning of these guidelines should seek clarification from his or her Sevier School District administrator, as appropriate. Use of Sevier School District resources shall constitute acceptance of the terms of these guidelines.

4.2    Users shall not go beyond their authorized access to the District network or other computer equipment or software including the files or accounts of others.  Users shall not disrupt or attempt to damage or disrupt any computer system, system performance, or data.  Users shall not use District resources to engage in illegal acts.     

5.    Administrator Responsibilities:

5.1    The administrator is responsible for making certain that the educators and students in the district or organization understand and abide by the Acceptable Use Policy as stated in this document.  If a Sevier School District administrator has reason to believe that a user (educator or student) is misusing the system, the administrator has the right to access to the user’s account in order to review the use of Sevier School District tools by the user.  It is also the responsibility of the administrator to report any misuse of the system to Sevier School District.       

6.    Educator Responsibilities:

6.1    Employees who supervise students with access to computer equipment shall be familiar with the Sevier School District Acceptable Use Agreement and enforce its provisions.

6.2    It is the responsibility of educators who are using Sevier School District tools with students to teach students about safe and responsible use of the Internet.  Educators are responsible for monitoring students’ use of these resources, and to intervene if students are using them inappropriately. Educators should make sure that students understand and abide by the Acceptable Use Agreement policy as stated in this document. If an educator has reason to believe that a student is misusing the system, he or she has the right to access the student’s account in order to review the use of Sevier School District tools by the student.  It is also the responsibility of the teacher to report any misuse of the system to his/her administrator or directly to Sevier School District.  

6.3    Employees are responsible for the security of their computer equipment, files and passwords. Employees shall promptly notify the District of security problems. Employees with access to student records may not use, release, or share these records except as authorized by Federal and State law.     

7.    Student Responsibilities:

7.1    It is the responsibility of students to learn about safe and responsible use of the Internet.  They are responsible to use these resources appropriately. Students using school resources must abide by the Acceptable Use Agreement as stated in this document.  If a student is misusing resources, the district has the right to discontinue his/her use. Parents and students are advised that some material accessible via the Internet may contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate, or potentially offensive to some people. The District cannot guarantee that filtering software will in all instances successfully block access to inappropriate materials.  When the Internet is accessed using a District account from locations other than school, such access does not go through the filtering software used by the District’s network. Parents and students are therefore encouraged to take appropriate steps to limit access to inappropriate materials (such as home filtering software, parental monitoring, or other means).  The District’s filtering software is not able to check or limit email communication using an Internet-based email account and will not prevent inappropriate communications from being sent with such accounts.     

  8.    No Expectation of Privacy

8.1    Employees have no expectation of privacy in files, disks, documents, e-mail, websites, etc; which have been created in, entered in, stored in, downloaded from, or used on District equipment, nor in District Internet accounts.

8.2    The District reserves the right to monitor users' online activities and to access, review, copy, and store or delete any electronic communication or files and disclose them to others as it deems necessary.

8.3    Users shall have no expectation of privacy regarding their use of District property, network and/or Internet access or files, including email and Web site access.

8.4    District resources are the property of the District and are to be used in conformance with these guidelines. Sevier School District retains the right to inspect any district computer, Virtual Hard Drive (VHD), Internet account, District provided cell phone, and the files they contain. Sevier School District also has the right to give permission to the teachers, the school administrators, and the parents of any student to review the use of resources and tools used by a student for any reason.

8.5    Users are advised that messages in discussion forums, including deleted messages, can be archived and can be retrieved. In addition, an Internet firewall automatically checks all data moving between the local area network and the Internet and logs the sending and receiving destinations.

8.6    Use of technology resources constitutes consent for the Sevier School District staff to monitor and/or inspect any files that users create, any messages they post or receive, and any websites they access.     

9.    Passwords

9.1     Each user shall be required to use and maintain personal passwords.  Users should never share their passwords with anyone.  The user must take precautions to maintain the secrecy of their passwords so that other users will not be able to utilize that password for any purpose.  If a user suspects that someone has discovered the user's password, the user should change the password immediately.  Users are responsible for all activity under their accounts.


10.    Violations

10.1    Failure to observe these guidelines may subject users to termination of their accounts. The use of Internet is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use may result in a cancellation of those privileges. The district will notify school or organization administrators of any inappropriate activities by the users.  It will also advise law enforcement agencies of illegal activities and will cooperate fully with local, state, and/or federal officials in any investigation related to illegal activities.

10.2    The District may deny, revoke, or suspend specific user access. Misuse may also lead to further disciplinary and/or legal action for both students and employees, including suspension, expulsion, dismissal from District employment, or criminal prosecution by government authorities.

10.3    The District will attempt to tailor any student disciplinary action to the specific issues related to each violation and assist the student in gaining the self-discipline necessary to behave appropriately.     

11.    Due Process

11.1    In the event there is an allegation that a user has violated this agreement, the user will receive notice of the alleged violation and an opportunity to present an explanation.

11.2    Disciplinary actions, in harmony with Corrective Discipline procedures, will be tailored to meet the specific concerns related to the violation. Deliberate violations of this agreement (e.g. malicious acts or omissions; searching for, viewing or otherwise visiting pornographic or sexually explicit sites) may be cause for immediate termination of employment.     

12.    Disclaimers

12.1    Sevier School District makes no warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, for computer services and resources. The district is not responsible for any damages incurred, including, but not limited to: loss of data resulting from delays or interruption of service, loss of data, or damage to personal property; for the accuracy, nature, or quality of information stored or gathered; for unauthorized financial obligations incurred through provided access. Any statement, accessible on the computer network or the Internet, is understood to be the author's individual point of view and not that of the District, its affiliates, or employees.

12.2    Further, even though the district may use technical or manual means to limit student access, these limits do not provide a foolproof means for enforcing the provisions of this policy. All provisions of this agreement are subordinate to local, state and federal statutes.                                  

Approved     04/08/96

Revised        09/10/02

Revised        01/16/13

Revised        08/09/17

Revised        02//08/23