Since I am not working for a district right now, I used the district I am living in – Douglas County Colorado.  Their coverage of acceptable use policy for the Internet comes in the publication “2011 Student Rights and Responsibilities.”  The preamble says nothing about the development of the document or how it applies to online activity.  It does give a list of Board of Education statements and explains how the most successful students have certain behavioral norms.  In all, it is not a very well organized section if comparing to the NEA guidelines.

There is no definition section, just an area listing the core values and an expansion of those values.  When getting down to the policies regarding the Internet, the document only says that the district provides ‘IT’ or Information Technology, and lists examples, such as computers and Internet access.  There is room for ambiguity since there is no formal definition. 

The policy statement is rather vague, only saying students should use district IT appropriately and responsibly.  As a safeguard, the district uses content filtering measures and monitoring devices.  The district’s general rules on student conduct apply to the use of IT, and a violation of those rules will result in appropriate punishment as outlined in the general rules section.  In other words, the policy statement points to other sections of the document for clarification of the policy statement. 

As mentioned above, the district applies the same rules to use of the Internet as the general rules of student conduct.  That is the extent of the acceptable uses section.  The unacceptable uses section is much more specific.  In fact, it is the only section regarding IT that is clearly listed.  Here are a few examples of what is unacceptable:

  • Searching, viewing, editing, or retrieving materials that are not related to school work, community service, employment, or further education (therefore, searching or viewing  sexually explicit, profane, violence promoting, or illegal materials is not permitted)
  • Accessing, viewing, or altering any official record or file of the school or District
  • Violating copyright laws
  • Any activity that violates a law or a school or District rule

 

I find the last one interesting because it is such a broad rule – it seems they are trying to cover all their bases.  I find it interesting that the document mentions ‘students have no expectation of privacy’ for matters regarding IT.  Because the IT is district owned, anything the student does can be accessed by the district and is district property.  I imagine this applies to workplaces as well.

 

The violations/sanctions section is rather short and was covered above in the policy statement.  If a student violates the rules, he or she will be disciplined per the guidelines listed under the general rules and regulations of student conduct.  Those rules and consequences cover most of the document.

 

Source: Douglas County Public Schools. (2011, June 1). 2011-12 Student Rights & Responsibilities. Douglas County Public Schools. Retrieved November 9, 2011, from https://www.dcsdk12.org/ecm/groups/public/@webk12ed/documents/webco...

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Comment by Ondalee on November 13, 2011 at 11:25pm

I also found it interesting that when creating our AUP, it was much easier to be specific about what is unacceptable use than what is acceptable use. Something is wrong when we are telling students ten things they cannot do and only two that they can.

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