6446 Student Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources


It is a Wake County Public School System objective to make appropriate electronic information resources available to students to assist in furthering educational goals and to provide for efficient school-related communication. This policy governs the use of Wake County Public School System electronic information resources and defines students’ proper conduct and responsibilities while using Wake County Public School System electronic information resources.

Electronic information resources are defined as all Wake County Public School System computer equipment, including any desktop or laptop computers or other hardware owned or leased by the school system; the Wake County Public School System computer network; e-mail accounts; and any computer software licensed to the Wake County Public School System; and stored data. Because electronic information resources are an integral part of the educational curriculum all students must comply with this policy.

Families are warned that some sites or pages accessible via the Internet contain material that is offensive, illegal, sexually explicit and discriminatory. In accordance with federal law, the Wake County Public School System uses appropriate measures, including the use of advanced software for Internet content filtering and has procedures in place to further block accessibility to language and visual depictions that are harmful to minors, if necessary. Although it is the intent of the Wake County Public School System that school system electronic information resources be used only to pursue educational goals and objectives, filters may not block all offensive material and/or students may find ways to access inappropriate materials.
Internet access provides a wide range of resources to students beyond the customary retrieval or viewing of information. Teacher directed activities may involve interactive services or tools which allow greater student involvement through external collaboration and communications.
The Wake County Public School System believes that the benefits to students from access to the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for communication and collaboration, exceed any disadvantages; but ultimately, parents and legal guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the behaviors that their child should follow when using media and information resources. To that end, the Wake County Board of Education supports and respects each family’s right to decide whether or not to deny their child’s Internet access. Students are granted access to the Internet automatically. However, Internet access is considered a privilege and may be revoked at any time by school administration. Parents or legal guardians may deny access to their child at any time through completion of a Parental Request to Deny Access Form.

Section A.

Administrators and staff must supervise use of electronic information resources in a manner that is appropriate to the students' age and the circumstances of use.

Section B.

Appropriate Use: All students are expected to exercise good judgment, use the computer resources in an appropriate manner and adhere to this policy and all applicable laws and regulations. Student use of the equipment is expected to be related to the Wake County Public School System’s educational goals and objectives.

The Board recognizes, however, that some personal use is inevitable, and that incidental and occasional personal use that is infrequent or brief in duration is permitted so long as it occurs on personal time, does not interfere with Wake County Public School System business, and is not otherwise prohibited by Wake County Public School policy or procedures.

Use of Wake County Public School System Software: Wake County Public School System software is licensed to the Wake County Public School System by a large number of vendors and may have specific license restrictions regarding copying or using a particular program.


Users must obtain permission from the Wake County Public School System prior to copying or loading Wake County Public School System software onto any computer, whether the computer is privately owned or is a Wake County Public School System computer.

The use of non-Wake County Public School System software on any WCPSS computers (including laptops, desktops, and the network) is discouraged. Prior to loading non-Wake County Public School System software onto Wake County Public School System computers (including laptops, desktops, and network), a student user must receive express permission from the WCPSS chief technology officer or designee. The use of such software will be subject to any restrictions imposed by the chief technology officer or designee. All software must be legally licensed by the user or the WCPSS prior to loading onto Wake County Public School System equipment. The unauthorized use of and/or copying of software is illegal.


Section C.


Prohibited Uses: Individual users of the Internet are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. The following are specifically not permitted. Wake County Public School System electronic information resources may not be used for the following purposes:

Commercial Use: Using Wake County Public School System computers for personal or private gain, personal business, or commercial advantage is prohibited.

Political Use: Using Wake County Public School System computers to advocate, directly or indirectly, for or against legislation, a school bond referendum and/or the selection of a school board member is prohibited.

Illegal or Inappropriate Use: Using Wake County Public School System computers for illegal, harassing, vandalizing, or inappropriate purposes, or in support of such activities is prohibited.
Illegal activities are any violations of federal, state, or local laws and include, but are not limited to, copyright infringement and/or illegal file sharing; posting or publishing false or defamatory information about a person or organization; committing fraud; cyberstalking; cyberharassment; threatening another person; or intentionally engaging in communications for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, or embarrassing another person.

Harassment
includes, but is not limited to, slurs, comments, jokes, innuendoes, unwelcome compliments, cartoons, visual depictions, pranks, or verbal conduct relating to an individual that (1) have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment; (2) have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or school performance, or (3) interfere with school operations.
Vandalism is any attempt to harm or destroy the operating system, hardware, application software, or data.
Inappropriate use is any violation of other provisions of this policy and includes, but is not limited to, using another person’s ID or password; giving out one’s user ID or password; plagiarizing; accessing, producing, storing, posting, sending, displaying, or viewing inappropriate or offensive material,...

The Wake County Public School System network may not be used for downloading entertainment software or other files not related to the mission and objectives of Wake County Public School System for use on Wake County Public School System’s network or computers or transfer to a user’s home computer or other personal computer. This prohibition pertains to freeware, shareware, copyrighted commercial and non-commercial software, and all other forms of software and files not directly related to the instructional and administrative purposes of the Wake County Public School System.

Unauthorized Use: Wake County Public School System computers may only be used by Wake County Public School System staff and students, and others expressly authorized by the Wake County Public School System to use the equipment.

Disruptive Use: Wake County Public School System computers may not be used to interfere with or disrupt other users, services, or equipment. For example, disruptions include, but are not limited to, distribution of unsolicited advertising (“spam”), propagation of computer viruses, distribution of large quantities of information that may overwhelm the system (i.e. chain letters, network games, or broadcasting messages), and any unauthorized access to or destruction of Wake County Public School System computers or other resources accessible through the Wake County Public School System’s computer network (“cracking” or “hacking”). Disruptive use may also be considered inappropriate and/or illegal.

The following are considered disruptions and are also prohibited: posting personal or private information about the user or other people on the Internet; arranging or agreeing to meet with someone the user has met on-line for purposes other than official school business; attempting to gain unauthorized access to the WCPSS network, computers, or systems; installing, downloading, storing, or running software used for hacking; attempting to bypass any WCPSS security control; posting information that could be disruptive, cause damage, or endanger students or staff; and accessing chat-rooms unless for a valid educational purpose or official school and/or Wake County Public School System business.

Section D.


This policy is applicable to all student users of Wake County Public School System computers and refers to all electronic information resources whether individually controlled, shared, stand alone, or networked. Disciplinary action, if any, for students or other users shall be consistent with the Wake County Public School System’s standard policies and practices, including the Code of Student Conduct. Violations may constitute cause for revocation of access privileges, suspension of access to Wake County Public School System computers, other disciplinary action, and/or appropriate legal action. Specific disciplinary measures will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Section E.


Wake County Public School System electronic information resources, the Internet, and use of e-mail are not inherently secure or private. Students shall have no expectation of privacy while using Wake County Public School System electronic information resources. The Wake County Public School System reserves the right to search data or e-mail stored on all school-owned or –leased computers or other electronic information resources at any time for any reason. The Wake County Public School System reserves the right to monitor students’ use of Wake County Public School System electronic information resources and to take appropriate disciplinary action based on use that is in violation of this policy. The Wake County Public School System reserves the right to disclose any electronic message or data to law enforcement officials, and under some circumstances, may be required to disclose information to law enforcement officials or other third parties, for example, in response to a subpoena or court order.


Section F.


Security on any computer system is a high priority, especially when the system involves many users. Students are responsible for reporting information security violations to appropriate personnel. Students should not demonstrate suspected security violations to other users. Attempts to log onto any system with escalated privileges may result in cancellation of user privileges and may result in additional disciplinary action. Any user identified as a security risk or having a history of problems with other computer systems may be denied access.

Section G.

Users of Wake County Public School System computers are expected to respect the Wake County Public School System’s property and be responsible in using the equipment. Users are to follow any Wake County Public School System instructions regarding maintenance or care of the equipment. Users may be held responsible for any damage caused by intentional or negligent acts in caring for Wake County Public School System computers while under their control.

Section H.


The Wake County Public School System makes no warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, for the service it is providing. The Wake County Public School System will not be responsible for any damages suffered by users, including loss of data resulting from delays, non-delivery, service interruptions, or any other cause. The Wake County Public School System will not be responsible for any claims, losses, damages, costs, or other obligations arising from the unauthorized use of Wake County Public School System’s electronic information resources. Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at the user's risk. The Wake County Public School System specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its service. Users are responsible for any losses sustained by the Wake County Public School System resulting from the user’s intentional misuse of the Wake County Public School System’s electronic information resources.

Legal Reference: 15 U.S.C. § 6501 et seq.; 16 C.F.R. Part 312; 47 U.S.C. § 254; 18 U.S.C. § 2510 et seq.; 20 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.; 20 U.S.C. § 6777; 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; G.S. 14-196.3; G.S. 15A-286 to –287; G.S. 115C-47(33); G.S. 115C-391; G.S. 115C-398; G.S. 115C-401.1; G.S. 115C-402; G.S. 115C-523
Adopted: December 18, 1995
Revised: September 22, 1998
Revised: March 19, 2002
Revised: June 15, 2004
Revised: June 3, 2008
Revised: April 6, 2010 (effective July 1, 2010)