EFFECTIVE DATE: 05/05/2021
REVIEWED BY POLICY COMMITTEE: 12/13/17
STUDENT COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE RULES
These rules accompany Board policy IJNDB (Student Computer and Internet Use). All students are responsible for their actions and activities involving school unit computers/devices, network and Internet services, and for their computer files, passwords and accounts. These rules provide general guidance concerning the use of the school unit’s computers/devices, network and Internet services, and examples of prohibited uses. The rules do not attempt to describe every possible prohibited activity by students. Students, parents and school employees who have questions about whether a particular activity is prohibited are encouraged to contact a building administrator or Information Technology Director. These rules apply to all school computers/devices wherever they are used, and all uses of school servers, third‐party services (such as Google G Suite for Education and Zoom), Internet access and networks regardless of how they are accessed.
A. Acceptable Use
The school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services are provided for educational purposes and research consistent with the school unit’s educational mission, curriculum, and instructional goals.
All Board policies, school rules, and expectations concerning student conduct and communications apply when students are using computers, whether the use is on or off school property.
Students are also expected to comply with all specific instructions from school administrators, school staff or volunteers when using the school unit’s computers.
B. Consequences for Violation of Computer Use Policy and Rules
Compliance with the school unit’s policies and rules concerning computer use is mandatory. Students who violate these policies and rules may, after having been given the opportunity to respond to an alleged violation, have their computer privileges limited, suspended, or revoked. Such violations may also result in disciplinary action, referral to law enforcement, and or legal action.
The building principal shall have final authority to decide whether a student’s privileges will be limited, suspended or revoked based upon the circumstances of the particular case, the student’s prior disciplinary record, and any other relevant factors.
C. Prohibited Uses
Examples of unacceptable uses of school unit computers that are expressly prohibited include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Accessing or Communicating Inappropriate Materials – Students may not access, submit, post, publish, forward, download, scan or display defamatory, abusive, obscene, vulgar, sexually explicit, sexually suggestive, threatening, discriminatory, harassing, bullying/cyberbullying, and/or illegal materials or messages;
2. Illegal Activities – Using the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services for any illegal activity or in violation of any Board policy or school rules. The school unit assumes no responsibility for illegal activities of students while using school computers;
3. Violating Copyrights or Software Licenses – Students may not copy, download or share any type of copyrighted materials (including music or films) without the owner’s permission; or copy or download software without the express authorization of the Technology Coordinator. Unauthorized copying of software is illegal and may subject the copier to substantial civil and criminal penalties. The school unit assumes no responsibility for copyright or licensing violations by students;
5. Plagiarism – Representing as one’s own work any materials obtained on the Internet (such as term papers, articles, music, etc.). When Internet sources are used in student work, the author, publisher, and website must be identified;
6. Non-School-Related Uses – Using the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services for any personal reasons not connected with the educational program, continuing the educational process or assignments;
7. Misuse of Passwords/Unauthorized Access – Students may not share passwords (except with authorized school employees); use passwords belonging to others; access or use the accounts of others; or circumvent, or attempt to circumvent network security;
8. Malicious Use/Vandalism – Any malicious use, disruption or harm to the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services, including but not limited to hacking activities and creation/uploading of computer viruses;
9. Avoiding School Filters – Students may not attempt to or use any software, utilities or other means to access Internet sites or content blocked by the school filters. If a student believes filtering should be less restrictive on a temporary basis for specific, bona fide research purposes, they should discuss the matter with their teacher;
10. Downloading “Apps” – Students may not download any “apps” without prior approval from an authorized school employee;
D. No Expectation of Privacy
RSU #74 computers remain under the control, custody, and supervision of the school unit at all times. Students have no expectation of privacy in their use of school computers, including email, stored files, and Internet access logs.
E. Compensation for Losses, Costs, and/or Damages
The student and his/her parents are responsible for compensating the school unit for any losses, costs, or damages incurred by the school unit for violations of Board policies and rules while the student is using school unit computers, including the cost of investigating such violations. The school unit assumes no responsibility for any unauthorized charges or costs incurred by a student while using school unit computers.
F. Student Security
A student is not allowed to reveal his/her full name, address or telephone number, social security number, or other personal information on the Internet without prior permission from a teacher. Students should never agree to meet people they have contacted through the Internet without parental permission. Students should inform their teacher if they access information or messages that are dangerous, inappropriate, or make them uncomfortable in any way.
G. System Security
The security of the school unit’s computers, networks, and Internet services is a high priority. Any student who identifies a security problem must notify his/her teacher immediately. The student shall not demonstrate the problem to others or access unauthorized material. Any user who attempts to breach system security, causes a breach of system security, or fails to report a system security problem shall be subject to disciplinary and/or legal action in addition to having his/her computer privileges limited, suspended, or revoked.
H. Additional Rules for Laptops Issued to Students
1. Laptops are loaned to students as an educational tool and are only authorized for use in the educational program, continuing the educational process or assignments.
2. Students and their parents are responsible for the proper care of laptops at all times, whether on or off school property, including costs associated with repairing or replacing the laptop. RSU #74 offers a protection program for parents to cover replacement costs and/or repair costs for damages not covered by the laptop warranty. Parents who choose not to purchase this protection should be aware that they are responsible for any costs associated with damage to a laptop issued to their child.
3. Loss or theft of a laptop must be reported immediately to the school office, and, if stolen, to the local law enforcement authority as well.
4. The Board’s policy and rules concerning computer and Internet use apply to use of laptops at any time or place, on or off school property. Students are responsible for obeying any additional rules concerning care of laptops issued by school staff.
5. Violation of policies or rules governing the use of computers, or any careless use of a laptop may result in a student’s laptop being confiscated and/or a student only being allowed to use the laptop under the direct supervision of school staff. The student will also be subject to disciplinary action for any violations of Board policies or school rules.
6. When requested parents will be informed of their child’s login password. Parents are responsible for supervising their child’s use of the laptop and Internet access when in use at home.
7. The laptop may only be used by the student to whom it is assigned and by family members, to the extent permitted by Maine’s laptop program.
8. Laptops must be returned in acceptable working order at the end of the school year or whenever requested by school staff.
I. Google G‐Suite for Education
The school unit will, at its discretion, create Google G‐Suite for Education accounts for students. Accounts will be terminated when a student ceases to be a student in the school unit. Google G‐Suite features will be enabled on a user‐by‐user‐basis at the discretion of the Principal and the Technology Director. Use of Google G‐Suite is subject to Google’s acceptable use policy, and all school unit policies, procedures and rules. The school unit maintains the right to suspend or terminate a student’s access to their account for violations of policies, procedures, rules or applicable laws. Students must, at all times, take reasonable measures to protect files and information in G‐Suite, including, but not limited to, not sharing passwords and following all security and access rules.
Cross Reference: IJNDB – Student Computer and Internet Use