Acceptable Use Policy
WEST SHORE SCHOOL DISTRICT
TITLE: ACCEPTABLE USE OF INTERNET, COMPUTER, AND NETWORK RESOURCES
ADOPTED: July 18, 1996
REVISED: June 16, 2011
Board supports the use of the Internet, computer, and network resources
in the District’s instructional and operational programs in order to
facilitate learning, teaching and daily operations through interpersonal
communications and access to information, research and collaboration.
District provides students, staff and other authorized individuals with
access to the district’s computers, electronic communication systems
and network, which includes Internet access, whether wired or wireless,
or by any other means.
For instructional purposes, the use of
network facilities shall be consistent with the curriculum adopted by
the School District as well as the varied instructional needs, learning
styles, abilities, and developmental levels of students.
Board also recognizes, however, the potential for misuse of these
resources by students, faculty, and staff. Use of these resources by
students, faculty, and staff is considered a privilege which may be
denied for inappropriate and/or illegal uses as set forth in this and
related policies. Furthermore, violations of the guidelines set forth in
this policy or other improper use of these resources may result in
disciplinary action in accordance with established disciplinary
procedures. Such procedures include but are not limited to possible
suspension or expulsion for students, suspension for staff and
imposition of the penalties under the PA School Code, including but not
limited to termination of employment. Appropriate uses of these
resources include instruction, independent study, authorized research,
and the official work of the offices, departments, recognized student
organizations, and agencies of the District.
electronic information available to students and staff does not imply
endorsement by the District of the content, nor does the District
guarantee the accuracy of information received. The District is not
responsible for any information that may be lost, damaged or unavailable
when using the network or for any information that is retrieved via the
The District shall not be responsible for any unauthorized
charges or fees resulting from access to the Internet or other network
The Board declares that computer and network use is a
privilege, not a right. The District’s computer and network resources
are the property of the District. Users shall have no expectation of
privacy in anything they create, store, send, receive or display on or
over the district’s Internet, computer, or network resources, including
personal files or any use of the district’s internet, computer, or
network resources. The District reserves the right to monitor, track,
and log network access and use; monitor file server space utilization by
district users; or deny access to prevent unauthorized, inappropriate
or illegal activity and may revoke access privileges and/or administer
appropriate disciplinary action. The District shall cooperate to the
extent legally required with the ISP, local, state and federal officials
in any investigation concerning or related to the misuse of the
district’s Internet, computer, and network resources.
requires all users to fully comply with this policy and to immediately
report any violations or suspicious activities to the Superintendent or
The Board establishes that the following materials, in
addition to those stated in the law, are inappropriate for access by
students and staff: Defamatory, lewd, vulgar, profane, threatening,
harassing, discriminatory, bullying, terroristic in nature, or otherwise
causes or has the potential to cause a substantial disruption to the
operations of the District, the school environment, or the health,
safety, or welfare of District students, staff, or visitors.
The term child pornography is defined under both federal and state law.
pornography - under federal law, is any visual depiction, including any
photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated
image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or
other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where:
1. The production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct;
Such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or
computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a
minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or
3. Such visual
depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an
identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct.
pornography - under state law, is any book, magazine, pamphlet, slide,
photograph, film, videotape, computer depiction or other material
depicting a child under the age of eighteen (18) years engaging in a
prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such act.
Federal and state law defines a minor as an individual under the age of eighteen (18) years.
The term harmful to minors is defined under both federal and state law.
Harmful to minors - under federal law, is any picture, image, graphic image file or other visual depiction that:
1. Taken as a whole, with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex or excretion;
Depicts, describes or represents in a patently offensive way with
respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual
act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual
acts, or lewd exhibition of the genitals; and
3. Taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value as to minors.
to minors - under state law, is any depiction or representation in
whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or
sadomasochistic abuse, when it:
1. Predominantly appeals to the prurient, shameful, or morbid interest of minors;
Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as
a whole with respect to what is suitable for minors; and
3. Taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political, educational or scientific value for minors.
4. Delegation of Responsibility
Obscene - any material or performance, if:
1. The average person applying contemporary community standards would find that
the subject matter taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest;
2. The subject matter depicts or describes in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct described in the law to be obscene; and
3. The subject matter, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, educational or scientific value.
protection measure - a specific technology that blocks or filters
Internet access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography
or harmful to minors.
The District shall make every effort to ensure
that students and staff use these resources responsibly and
appropriately in compliance with federal and state law.
teachers and staff have a professional responsibility to work together
to help students develop the intellectual skills necessary to
discriminate among information sources, to identify information
appropriate to their age and developmental levels, and to evaluate and
use the information to meet their educational goals.
staff have the responsibility to respect and protect the rights of
every other user in the District and on the Internet provided the use is
The building administrator, in conjunction with the
Assistant Superintendent, shall have the authority to determine
inappropriate use. Inappropriate use may include, but is not limited to
illegal activity, violation of board policies, accessing, posting, or
transmitting profane, obscene, lewd, or pornographic materials, any form
of vandalism, hacking network resources, unauthorized access to network
accounts, installation of unapproved applications, or bypassing
district safety and filtering resources.
The Superintendent or
designee shall be responsible for developing and using technology to
determine whether the District’s computers are being used for purposes
prohibited by law or for accessing sexually explicit materials. The
practices used shall include but not be limited to:
1. Utilizing a
technology protection measure that blocks or filters Internet access for
minors and adults to certain visual depictions that are obscene,
pornographic, harmful to minors when used by minors, or determined
inappropriate by the Board for use by minors.
2. Maintaining and securing a usage log.
3. Monitoring online activities of minors.
District shall develop and implement curriculum that ensures students
are educated on network etiquette and other appropriate online behavior,
1. Interaction with other individuals on social networking web sites and in chat rooms.
2. Cyberbullying awareness and response.
accounts and Network Credentials shall be used only by the authorized
owner of the accounts and only for their approved purposes. Network
users shall respect the privacy of other users on the system. Exceptions
to this guideline will be made where there is reasonable suspicion of
inappropriate use. In that event, an investigation shall be conducted by
Technology and Media Services staff or the Superintendent’s designee.
Examples of inappropriate use are contained in the Prohibitions section
which follows. Said examples are not intended to be inclusive.
are expected to act in a responsible, ethical and legal manner in
accordance with District policy, accepted rules of network etiquette,
and federal and state law. Specifically, the following uses are
1. Illegal activity.
2. Commercial or for-profit purpose.
Non-work or non-school related work that does not directly impact or
enhance a staff member’s or student’s proficiency with technology and
meet an educational purpose for their position or learning in the West
Shore School District.
4. Product advertisement or political lobbying.
6. Hate mail, discriminatory remarks, and offensive or inflammatory communication.
7. Unauthorized or illegal installation, distribution, reproduction, or use of copyrighted materials.
Accessing, sending, receiving, transferring, viewing, sharing, or
downloading obscene, pornographic, lewd, or otherwise illegal materials,
images or photographs, including child pornography.
9. Access by
students and minors to material that is harmful to minors or is
determined inappropriate for minors in accordance with Board policy.
10. Inappropriate language or profanity.
11. Transmission of material likely to be offensive or objectionable to recipients.
12. Intentional obtaining or modifying of files, passwords, and data belonging to other users.
13. Impersonation of another user, anonymity, and pseudonyms.
14. Loading or using of unauthorized games, programs, files, or other electronic media.
15. Disruption of the work of other users.
16. Destruction, modification, abuse or unauthorized access to network hardware, software and files.
17. Quoting of personal communications in a public forum without the original author’s prior consent.
Access to sexually oriented chat rooms, e-mail exchanges and/or
visuals, texts and sounds that are sexually oriented, obscene,
pornographic and extremely violent.
19. Accessing the Internet, district computers or other network resources without authorization.
20. Disabling or bypassing the Internet blocking/filtering software without authorization.
21. Accessing, sending, receiving, transferring, viewing, sharing or downloading confidential information without authorization.
22. Use of unapproved personal computing or storage devices on the West Shore School District Network.
23. Use of Web-based Proxies and/or Anonymizers.
Social Media Applications
communication is critical to students’ learning of 21st Century Skills.
The use of Social Media Tools and interactive, online applications
offer an authentic, real-world opportunity for student learning.
Expectations for classroom blogs, wikis, student protected e-mail,
podcast projects, or other Web interactive use shall meet the following
1. The use of blogs, podcasts, wikis, or other Social
Media Applications are considered an extension of the classroom and
student learning. Speech that is prohibited in the classroom is also
prohibited in all uses of blogs, podcasts, wikis, or other Social Media
2. Users are expected to utilize safe practices while
using blogs, podcasts, wikis, or other Social Media Applications by not
posting unapproved personal information on the web including but not
limited to last names, personal details, addresses, phone numbers, or
3. All use of blogs, podcasts, wikis, or other
Social Media Applications must be approved by the building principal.
Approved uses shall be supervised and be under the direction of a
district staff member.
System security is
protected through the use of passwords. Failure to adequately protect or
update passwords could result in unauthorized access to personal or
District files. To protect the integrity of the system, the following
guidelines shall be followed:
1. Employees and students shall not reveal their Network Credentials / passwords to another individual.
2. Users are not to use a computer that has been logged in under another student’s or employee’s name.
Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems
with other computer systems may be denied access to the network.
Users who have been approved to connect personal equipment to the West
Shore School District Network shall follow all guidelines and procedures
as outlined in West Shore School District Board Policy # 237.
Consequences For Inappropriate Use
network user shall be responsible for damages to the equipment,
systems, and software resulting from deliberate or willful acts.
use of the network; intentional deletion or damage to files of data
belonging to others; copyright violation; and theft of services will be
reported to the appropriate legal authorities for possible prosecution.
rules for behavior and communications apply when using the Internet, in
addition to the stipulations of this policy. Loss of access and other
disciplinary actions, including but not limited to suspensions,
expulsions and/or termination of employment shall be consequences for
inappropriate use. Inappropriate use shall be defined as including but
not limited to the items contained in the Prohibitions section above.
will result in cancellation of access privileges. Vandalism is defined
as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy equipment, data of another
user, Internet or other networks; this includes but is not limited to
uploading or creating computer viruses. Vandalism may also result in the
filing of criminal charges, suspension or expulsion from school or
termination of employment.
Failure to comply with this policy or
inappropriate use of the Internet, West Shore School District computer
or network resources, shall result in usage restrictions, loss of access
privileges, disciplinary action, and/or legal proceedings.
illegal use of copyrighted materials and software by students and staff
is prohibited. Any data uploaded to or downloaded from the network
shall be subject to fair use guidelines and applicable laws and
To the greatest extent possible,
users of the network will be protected from harassment and unwanted or
unsolicited electronic communication. Any network user who receives
threatening or unwelcome electronic communications or inadvertently
visits or accesses an inappropriate site shall report such immediately
to a teacher or administrator. Network users shall not reveal personal
information to other users on the network, including chat rooms, e-mail,
Internet, social networking web sites, etc.
District computers/servers utilized by students and staff shall be equipped with Internet blocking/filtering software.
Internet safety measures shall address the following:
1. Control of access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet and World Wide Web.
2. Safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications.
3. Prevention of unauthorized online access by minors, including “hacking” and other unlawful activities.
4. Unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.
Restriction of minors’ access to materials harmful to them. 6.
Secure storage of student–created digital files, images, and videos.
School Code – 24 P.S. Sec. 1303.1-A
PA Crimes Code – 18 Pa. C.S.A. Sec. 5903, 6312
Child Internet Protection Act – 24 P.S. Sec. 4601 et seq.
U.S. Copyright Law – 17 U.S.C. Sec. 101 et seq.
Sexual Exploitation and Other Abuse of Children – 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2256
Enhancing Education Through Technology Act – 20 U.S.C. Sec. 6777
Internet Safety, Children’s Internet Protection Act – 47 U.S.C. Sec. 254
Children’s Internet Protection Act Certifications, Title 47, Code of Federal Regulations – 47 CFR Sec. 54.520
Board Policy – 103, 104, 218, 218.2, 220, 233, 237, 248, 249, 317, 348, 417, 448, 517, 548, 814
It is essential that parents and students understand the West Shore School District Board Policy 815, Acceptable Use Policy. We ask that you read through and discuss with your child and then send in the bottom portion to your child’s computer teacher.