Computer/Internet Acceptable Use

The Souderton Area School District is providing students with access to the District’s electronic communications system, which includes Internet access.

In accordance with the federally enacted Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) the school district has installed an Internet filtering service. Specifically, the District operates and enforces technology protection measures that monitor and track online activities of users on its computers so as to filter or block inappropriate matter on the Internet.

In a conscious effort to control as well as provide access to the many valuable resources on the Internet the district has developed a policy of acceptable use. This policy relates not only to the Internet, but to the district network and its associated resources.

Access to the System
All students will have access to the Internet World Wide Web information resources through their classroom, library, or school computer lab. Parents may specifically request that their children not be provided such access by notifying the District in writing.

Students will have e-mail access only under their teacher’s direct supervision using a classroom account. Students may be provided with an individual e-mail account under special circumstances at the request of their teacher and with approval of their parents and the building principal.

Student Rights 
User violations of the District Acceptable Use Policy, the Student Disciplinary Code or the law may be discovered by routine maintenance and monitoring of the District system.

The District will cooperate fully with local, state, or federal officials in any investigation related to any illegal activities conducted through the Souderton Area School District system.

In the event there is a claim of a users violation of this Policy or the Student Disciplinary Code in the use of the District system, the user will be provided with a written notice of the suspected violation and an opportunity to present an explanation before a neutral administrator.

If the violation also involves a violation of other provisions of the Student Disciplinary Code, it will be handled in a manner described in the Student Disciplinary Code. Additional restrictions may be placed on use of user’s Internet access including but, not limited to the loss of access to the Internet and network resources.

Users Will

  • Disclose to their teacher or other school employee any message that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable. Restrictions against Inappropriate Language apply to public messages, private messages, and materials posted on Web pages.

  • Immediately notify a teacher or the Supervisor of Technology if they have identified a possible security problem.

  • Avoid the inadvertent spread of computer viruses.

  • Use the system only for educational and professional or career development activities.

  • Respect the rights of copyright owners. Users should request permission from copyright owners before using anything from the Internet.

  • Immediately disclose to their teacher or the Supervisor of Technology inadvertent access to inappropriate materials.

Users Will Not

  • Post personal contact information about themselves or other people.

  • Attempt to gain unauthorized access to the District system or any other computer system through the District system. Users are responsible for their individual files and directories and should take every reasonable precaution to prevent others from being able to use their account.

  • Engage in personal attacks, including prejudicial or discriminatory attacks.

  • Harass another person.

  • Knowingly or recklessly post false or defamatory information about a person or organization.

  • Repost or forward a message that was sent to them privately without permission of the person who sent them the message.

  • Post private information about another person.

  • Post chain letters or engage in “spamming.”

  • Make deliberate attempts to disrupt the computer system performance or destroy data by spreading computer viruses or by any other means.

  • Use the District system to engage in any illegal act.

  • Post information that, if acted upon, could cause damage or a danger of disruption.

  • Use obscene, profane, lewd, vulgar, rude, inflammatory, threatening, or disrespectful language.

  • Subscribe or solicit information which incurs cost.

  • Plagiarize works that they find on the Internet.

  • Download large files unless absolutely necessary. If necessary, users will download the file at a time when the system is not being heavily used and immediately remove the file from the system computer to their personal computer.

  • Use the District system to access material that is profane or obscene (pornography), that advocates illegal acts, or that advocates violence or discrimination towards other people (hate literature).

  • Vandalize any equipment or computer system.

Personal Safety

  • Users will not post personal contact information about themselves or other people. In other words, the user may not steal another’s identity in any way, may not use spyware, cookies, or use the network in any way to invade privacy. Additionally, the user may not disclose, use or disseminate personal information of other students or employees.

  • Users will promptly disclose to their teacher or the Supervisor of Technology any message they receive that is inappropriate or makes them feel uncomfortable.

  • Student users will agree not to meet with someone they have met online.

  • Documents or videotapes may not include information which indicates the physical location of a student at a given time other than attendance at a particular school or participation in school activities.

Illegal Activities Prohibited

Any use of the SASD system for or to facilitate illegal activity is expressly prohibited. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Federal Copyright Law
  • Federal Wire Fraud Law
  • Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse
  • Federal and Pennsylvania Child Pornography Laws
  • Children’s On-line Privacy Protection Act
  • Children’s Internet Protection Act
  • Pennsylvania Computer Crime Law
  • Pyramid Schemes/Chain Letters
  • Defamation
  • Common Law Action for Invasion of Privacy

Consequences for Inappropriate Use: 
Students may be denied computer privileges for serious and/or continuous violations of school policy. In addition, students should be aware that the SASD’s computer policies incorporate all other school policies as well as applicable local, state, and federal laws. Students will be disciplined for any inappropriate use in conformance with the Student Disciplinary Code.