The purpose of this rule is to establish a policy for the acceptable use of the network as a tool for learning in Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) (hereinafter referred to as District). The M-DCPS network is defined as all computer resources, including software, hardware, lines and services that allow connection of District computers to other computers, whether they are within the District or external to the District.
This includes connection to the Internet. In summary, the rule affirms that no user may use the network to take any action or receive and/or communicate any language that the employee or student could not take or communicate in person. Users are defined as anyone authorized by administration to use the Network. This includes, but is not limited to, staff, students,parents, vendors, contractors, and volunteers. Prohibitions in applicable federal, state and/or local law or regulation, collective bargaining agreements and Board Rules are included. Additionally, this rule reflects that there is no expectation of privacy in the use of e-mail or network communications when such communications occur over M-DCPS provided equipment by M-DCPS employees, students, or others.
Networks give schools the ability to share educational and research resources from around the world with all students. These resources include access to instructional applications, interactive collaboration between teachers, students and other users, document sharing, communications of all forms with people from around the world and libraries, museums and research facilities.
Utilization of the network by users must be in support of and consistent with the educational objectives of the District. When utilizing the network all users must adhere to the provisions of this rule and the standards of conduct established in the M-DCPS Code of Student Conduct (both elementary and secondary), Code of Conduct for Adult Students, the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession in the State of Florida, the M-DCPS Network Security Standards and School Board Rule 6Gx13- 4A-1.21, Responsibilities and Duties.
Transmission of any material in violation of local, state, and federal law or regulation is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to copyright material, threatening or obscene material or material protected by trade secret.
Obscene material is that material which:
The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find, taken as a whole, appeals solely to the prurient interest; and 6Gx13- 6A-1.112
Depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct as defined in Section 847.001 (11) F.S. (1995); and
Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
Procedures concerning the protest of instructional materials and educational media as they are accessed through the Internet are governed by School Board Rule 6Gx13- 6A-1.26, Instructional Materials and Resources.
School Board Rule 6Gx13- 1C-1.06, Politics--Participation of Staff, governs the use of the Internet for political activities.
Use of the network for product advertisement, commercial activities, political campaigning or solicitation is prohibited.
Users of the M-DCPS network are charged with notice that besides obscene material, there are other potentially objectionable materials available on the Internet, including sites with adult content, nudity, and gambling, as well as sites advocating violence and illegal activities. No content filter will ever be 100% accurate, and on occasion either objectionable material may get through or non-objectionable material may be blocked.
Bypassing the M-DCPS content filter without authorization is strictly prohibited. M-DCPS has procedures in place to evaluate requests from users to block or unblock sites as necessary.
Students, parents and staff should be aware that connection to any Internet or network provider not under District control may be unfiltered. This is particularly true of open wireless connections, which can be found almost anywhere. The District is not responsible for unfiltered content that may be viewed or downloaded on M-DCPS equipment that has been provided to individuals for use outside District property.
The District is also not responsible for issues caused by the connection of personal devices to the district’s network or improper use of the District’s network or equipment.
Accessing the Internet through District equipment is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use, including violation of this rule may result in cancellation of the privilege. 6Gx13- 6A-1.112
Administration reserves the right to review any material on user accounts for purposes of maintaining adequate fileserver space and monitoring appropriateness of material accessed through the network. In reviewing and monitoring user accounts for the purpose of determining adequate fileserver space, the District shall respect the privacy rights of user accounts.
All users are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette. These standards of conduct include, but are not limited to the following:
Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at the user's own risk. The District will not be responsible for any damages a user may incur. This includes, but is not limited to, loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, mis-deliveries, or service interruptions caused by negligence, errors, or omissions. The District is not responsible for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through the network. All users need to consider the source of any information they obtain through the network, and evaluate the accuracy of the information.
Security on any computer network is a high priority, especially when the system involves many users.
Vandalism and harassment when utilizing the Internet will result in cancellation of user privileges. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading or creation of computer viruses and the attempt to destroy, harm or modify data of another user.
Student users must always get permission from their teachers or facilitators before using the network or accessing any specific file or application. Student users must also follow written and oral classroom instructions. 6Gx13- 6A-1.112
On a global network it is impossible to control effectively the content of data and an industrious user may discover inappropriate material. Inappropriate material is that material that is determined inconsistent with the goals, objectives and policies of the educational mission of the District.
The act of accessing the Internet through the District's network signifies that the user will abide by the provisions of this rule.
Disciplinary action for inappropriate use by students will be based on the tiered actions described in the codes of student conduct (Elementary, Secondary or Adult)
and may include, but is not limited to, loss of privilege, suspension or expulsion. Disciplinary action for inappropriate use by staff will be as provided for in the applicable collective bargaining agreements.