Code  IFBGA  Issued  08/13



Internet Responsible Use Policy


Technology is a vital part of education and the curriculum of the school district.  In an effort to promote learning and expand educational resources for students, the district has made arrangements to provide Internet access to students and staff.  The district's goal in providing this service is to promote educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, communication, and innovation.


Responsible Use


Access to the Internet is a privilege, not a right.  With this privilege, there also is a responsibility to use the Internet solely for educational purposes and not to access inappropriate materials.  To that end, the district administration is directed to develop appropriate guidelines governing the use of district computers to access the Internet.  The District administration is also directed to implement such technology protection measures and Internet safety rules as may be required by the conditions of eligibility for any federal or state technology funding assistance program.


As part of the implementation of the administration's guidelines, students and staff must be instructed on the appropriate use of the Internet.  Internet permission forms are sent home with each student at the beginning of the school year where students and parents are informed to review policy IFBGA and administrative rule IFBGA-R which govern the use of technology in our district.  This form also gives parents the ability to deny permission for their child to access to the internet using district resources should they elect to sign and return the form indicating their decision.  Employees are made aware of the need to review this same policy and administrative rule by way of the employee handbook.


Technology Protection Measures and Internet Safety


In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”), Pub. L. No. 106-554 & 47 U.S.C. § 254(h), the District administration must ensure that the District’s computers and computer networks are equipped with technological devices designed to filter and block the use of any of the District’s computers with Internet access to retrieve or transmit any visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or “harmful to minors” as defined in the CIPA.  Adult users of a District computer with Internet access may request that such “technology protection measures” be temporarily disabled by the chief building administrator of the building in which the computer is located, for bona fide research purposes or other lawful purposes not otherwise inconsistent with law, this Policy, or the Administrative Rule issued to implement this Policy.


For purposes of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (“CIPA”), Pub. L. No. 106-554 & 47 U.S.C. § 254(l), the administrative rule developed by the district administration to implement this policy is the District’s CIPA “internet safety policy.”  The rule must include provisions to address:  (1) access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web; (2) the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic communications; (3) unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online; (4) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors;  (5) and  measures  designed  to  restrict minors’  access  to  materials  harmful  to  minors;



(6) provide for the education of minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and chat rooms, and cyber bullying awareness and response.


The Administrative Rule developed by the district administration shall also be intended to reduce the ability of the user to access web sites displaying information or material in violation of state criminal law concerning obscenity, material harmful to minors, and child exploitation.


Email, Phone, and Internet Usage


The district will monitor email, phone, and Internet activity and may disclose the content and/or details when, in the district’s sole discretion, there is a business need to do so.  Employees and students should not expect that e-mail messages, even those marked as personal or access by a personal ID, are private or confidential.


Employee e-mail, phone, and Internet usage should be used only for business purposes.  Occasional personal use of e-mail and Internet is permitted, however, assigned cell phones should only be used for personal use in emergency situations.  The district reserves the right to monitor personal use to the same extent that it monitors business use.


The district’s communication systems will not be used to set up or run a personal business; transmit offensive, derogatory, obscene or illegal materials; or download such material from the Internet.  Violation of this rule is grounds for termination.


Employees should exercise the same restraint and caution in drafting and transmitting e-mail messages as when writing a formal memorandum on district or school letterhead.  Users should assume that messages will be saved and reviewed by someone other than the original addressee.


Employees should not communicate confidential information via e-mail, facsimile, or other non-secured method of electronic communications.  Use by employees of the district’s communication system constitutes consent to monitoring.


Continued use of the system is conditioned on acceptance of and strict adherence to the district’s policies.  Failure to adhere to policy requirements may result in discipline or dismissal.


Adopted 4/18/00, Revised 3/19/02, 11/21/06, 5/19/09, 7/17/12, 8/20/13



Legal references:


A.    Federal Law:

1.      47 USC Section 254(h) – Children’s Internet Protection Act.


2.      The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, Section 512 – Limitations on liability relating to material online.


B.     S.C. Code of Laws, 1976, as amended:

1.      Section 10-1-205 – Computers in public libraries; regulation of Internet access

2.      Section 16-3-850 – Encountering child pornography while processing film or working on a computer.

3.       Section 16-15-305 – Disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity unlawful; definitions; penalties; obscene material designated contraband