Electronic Devices Safety, Services, and Acceptable Use
Hillsborough County Public Schools is committed to developing a technologically relevant and engaging learning environment for all students by providing them with the opportunity to develop collaboration, innovation, communication skills, and tools that are essential to both life and work in the 21st Century.
The Student Network and Internet Acceptable Use Policy (7540.03) must be agreed to when changing passwords and connecting to the district’s network. This policy outlines the limited educational purpose of the Internet as an educational tool, measures taken in protecting children from exposure to harmful content, the limitations of content filtering, and outlines a code of conduct for appropriate network usage.
Similar in content to the Acceptable Use Policy, the Access to Technology Resources from Personal Communication Devices Policy (7542) allows students to connect a Personal Communication Device (PCD) to the district’s guest network. This policy outlines the responsibilities and limited rights that students have when connecting to the district network. When personal devices are used on school board property, users lose any expectation of privacy in the content of their files on the device during investigations related to inappropriate use of the device. Moreover, the owner of a PCD bears all responsibility and assumes all risk for loss, damage or misuse of said property while it is on Board property.
Students will not be called from class to take a telephone call; however, emergency messages will be taken for students.
Cell Phones and Electronic Devices
During school hours and while on the bus, cell phones and other electronic devices are to be used under the supervision of district staff for educational purposes only.
Students must comply with the directives of school/district staff regarding when and where electronic devices can be used.
Devices may only be used in approved areas and students must comply with the directives of school/ district staff regarding when and where electronic devices may be used. Cell phone conversations during the school day are prohibited unless under the supervision of staff/school personnel. Failure to comply with staff directives may result in the following student consequences:
First Offense: The device will be confiscated by the staff member, labeled, and given to the administrator. The administrator will notify the parent/guardian and will return the device to the student at the end of the day.
Second Offense: The device will be confiscated by the staff member, labeled and given to the administrator. A mandatory conference is scheduled and the electronic device is returned to the parent. This can be a phone conference since some parents cannot physically come to the school.
Third Offense: The device will be confiscated by the staff member, labeled, and given to the administrator. A mandatory conference will be held with the parent/guardian and disciplinary actions will be imposed by administration (detention, work detail, etc.).
Any future offenses will result in the device being confiscated and a meeting arranged with the parent/guardian to discuss further disciplinary action for disobedience and possible out-of-school suspension.
Consequences may vary at individual schools according to School Board-approved School Improvement Plan.
In providing a safe, secure, technologically rich learning environment, Hillsborough County Public Schools expect students to demonstrate appropriate and responsible behavior regarding technology. Digital citizenship, as this is defined, extends from cyberbullying to information literacy. It provides a guide for navigating the web intelligently and making appropriate decisions when online. The information below is meant to educate parents and students in the various aspects of digital citizenship. If ou have any doubt about whether a contemplated activity is acceptable, consult your 9 teacher or administrator.
Cyberbullying means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which includes, but is not limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, Internet communication, instant messages, texting, posting or facsimile communications. Cyberbullying is covered under the district’s Bullying and Harassment policy (5517.01). Students must not engage in cyberbullying and must report any suspicion of cyberbullying to a teacher or administrator as outlined in the bullying section of this Student Code of Conduct. Although not an exhaustive list, the following constitute cyberbullying:
Creation of a profile or post in which the creator assumes the identity of another person.
Knowingly impersonating another person as the author of posted content or messages.
Distribution by electronic means of communication, or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, of material that creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying.
Mean, threatening, or harassing text messages, emails, etc.
Rumors or false accusations transmitted electronically or posted on social networking sites.
Sending or posting embarrassing pictures or videos through electronic means, including text message, email, or social media.
Participating in shaming an individual through electronic means.
When we browse websites for information, engage in social media, send electronic messages and email, we leave behind “footprints” of our behavior. These permanent records are compiled into a digital profile. Be thoughtful in what you post online, as it will be with you forever and can have devastatingly negative consequences.
Our self-image and identity are how we present ourselves online. In profiles, avatars and online personas, students can represent who they really are, or create new identities for exploring the world. There can be a large gap between real-world and online identities. The distance between these identities can lead people to do things they wouldn’t normally do.
The Internet provides opportunities to communicate with people from across the world. Professional communications require different etiquette than personal ones. In creating and nurturing relationships, it is possible to encounter people who wish to do us harm. Not everyone represents themselves honestly online.
The availability of information on the Internet makes it easy to download or copy and paste content. While some content is licensed in a way that covers fair use, most of the available content is not. Stealing or plagiarizing of content can have serious academic and financial implications. Understanding copyright and fair use are important skills to have as students’ progress through their education careers.
With a world of information available at their fingertips, it can be difficult for students to determine reputable and quality sources from less accurate ones. Providing students with skills for vetting resources and thinking critically about information is vital in our digital world.
As they learn how to safely navigate cyberspace, our students need to be equipped with the necessary tools to make good choices. Today’s students can find themselves forced to make choices that are beyond their maturity level. Technology can be a great resource, but it can cause great harm at the same time.
Today, much of our personal information is online. This presents unique issues to caregivers surrounding their student’s information privacy and security. From securing online accounts to placing a freeze on credit files, a multitude of strategies exist for protecting your family’s information.