Section (6000) Instruction
Policy Name Online Social Networking
Policy Number 6141.326
Date Approved 12/14/15
Date Revised  
Date Revised  
Date Revised  
Date Revised  

Online Social Networking

The Internet and electronic communications have vast potential to support curriculum and student learning. The Board of Education (Board) believes they should be used in school as a learning resource both in developing student literacy and providing on-going professional staff development activities. The Board realizes that existing and emerging smart technologies present new challenges to the educational community.

The purpose of this policy is to set forth policies and guidelines for access to the District's computer system and acceptable and safe use of Internet social networking tools/sites.

Electronic information research skills are fundamental to preparation of citizens and future employees. Access to the District's computer system and the Internet enables students and staff to explore global resources while exchanging messages with people around the world. The District's computer system has a limited educational purpose, which includes its use for classroom activities, educational research and professional or career development activities. Users are expected to use Internet access through the District system to further educational and personal goals consistent with the District's mission and school policies. The District's computer network is considered a limited forum enabling the restriction of speech for valid educational reasons. For safety purposes, the District employs both Internet filters and firewalls.

Students may not access social media sites using District equipment, while on District property or at District-sponsored activities unless the posting is approved by a District representative/teacher/staff member. Social media websites are websites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, MySpace, You Tube, Flickr and Twitter.

The District will not be liable for information/comments posted by students on social media websites when the student is not engaged in District activities and not using District equipment.

The School District reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review and store at any time and without prior notice any and all usage of the computer network and Internet access and any and all information transmitted or received in connection with such usage. All such information files shall be and remain the property of the School District and no user shall have any expectation of privacy regarding such materials.

Among the uses that are considered unacceptable and which constitute a violation of this policy are the following:

1. Uses that violate the law or encourage others to violate the law. This includes the transmittal of offensive or harassing messages; offering for sale or use any substance the possession or use of which is prohibited by District policy; viewing, transmitting or downloading pornographic materials or materials that encourage others to violate the law; intruding into the networks or computers of others; and downloading or transmitting confidential, trade secret information, or copyrighted materials.

 2. Uses that cause harm to others or damage to their property. This includes defamation (harming another's reputation by lies); employment of another's password or some other user identifier that misleads message recipients into believing that someone else is communicating or otherwise using his/her access to the network or the Internet; uploading a worm, virus, "trojan horse," "time bomb" or other harmful form of programming or vandalism; participation in "hacking" activities or any form of unauthorized access to other computers, networks, or information systems.

 3. Uses that jeopardize the security of student access and of the computer network or other networks on the Internet. For example disclosure or sharing personal passwords with others; impersonation of another user.

 4. Uses that are commercial transactions. Students and other users may not sell or buy anything over the Internet. Private information shall not be shared.

 (cf. 6141.321 – Computer Acceptable Use Policy)

 Legal Reference: Connecticut General Statutes

 1‑19(b)(11) Access to public records. Exempt records.

 10‑15b Access of parent or guardians to student's records.

 10‑209 Records not to be public.

 11-8a Retention, destruction and transfer of documents

 11-8b Transfer or disposal of public records. State Library Board to adopt regulations.

 46b‑56 (e) Access to Records of Minors.

 Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, as amended, added by section 513 of PL 93‑568, codified at 20 U.S.C. 1232g.).

 Department of Education. 34 CFR. Part 99 (May 9, 1980 45 FR 30802) regs. implementing FERPA enacted as part of 438 of General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g)‑parent and student privacy and other rights with respect to educational records, as amended 11/21/96.

 Children's Internet Protection Act of 2000 (HR 4577, P.L.106‑554)

 Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 254[h],[I])

 Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (20 U.S.C. 6801 et seq., Part F)

 Public Law 94-553, The Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. 101 et. seq.

 Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997)

 Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629, at 642, n.10 (1968)

Board of Education v. Pico, 457 U.S. 868 (1988)

Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 620, 267 (1988)