Responsible Use of Electronic Media for Students

  • kid smiling while using a laptopThe Board recognizes that electronic media, including the Internet, provides access to a wide variety of instructional resources in an effort to enhance educational opportunities. Use of electronic resources must be in support of, and consistent with the vision, mission, and goals established by the Board and for the purpose of AKS instructional support. 

    All users of the district-wide area network and/or other electronic informational services must maintain strict compliance with all applicable ethical and legal rules and regulations regarding access. The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure that all GCPS technology users share the GCPS technology resources in an effective, ethical, and lawful manner. GCPS technology should be used for legitimate educational reasons only, and not for personal use.

    Strict compliance with all applicable ethical and legal rules and regulations must be maintained by all users of the wide area network and/or other electronic informational services including electronic mail (e-mail). Users must respect intellectual property rights and understand that school system data accessible over the network, regardless of the computer or device being used, constitutes property. All electronic, telephonic, and communications transmitted by, received from, or stored in these systems are property of the Gwinnett County Public Schools. Users of such systems should have no expectation of privacy. Student email use for legitimate educational purposes will be subject to monitoring and review, including review of text and attachments that are related to that student or students. At NO TIME should a student consider GCPS e-mail private or confidential in any way.

    It is important to note that with a global network it is impossible to control or predict all materials a user may accidentally or purposefully discover on an electronic resource. Gwinnett County Public Schools personnel will make every effort to educate and guide all users in the proper use of electronic media, including the Internet. Because access to the Internet provides connections to other computer systems located all over the world, users (and parents of users) must understand that neither the Gwinnett County Public Schools nor any district staff member controls the content of the information available on these other systems. Some of the information available is controversial and sometimes may be offensive. Gwinnett County Public Schools DOES NOT CONDONE the use of such materials. Therefore, it is imperative that the user be held accountable for the appropriate utilization of this technology.

    ACCESS IS A PRIVILEGE— NOT A RIGHT! Inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of these privileges as well as possible assignment of disciplinary action consistent with the policies and procedures of Gwinnett County Public Schools. Local schools may establish additional regulatory guidelines for use of electronic resources that include, but are not limited to, guidelines established by this system-wide procedure. Building administrators shall establish a process for informing students and staff about the district and local school Responsible Use Procedures.

    The definition of GCPS information and data resources will include any computer, server, or network, or access provided or supported by GCPS, including portal-delivered applications and the Internet. Use of computer information and resources includes the use of data/programs stored on GCPS computing systems, data/programs stored and/or delivered through magnetic tape, floppy disk, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, computer peripherals, or other storage media, that is owned and maintained by the GCPS. The “user” of the system is the student using GCPS technology. Access is a privilege, not a right, and all students are expected to treat this learning tool with respect.

    GCPS technology and electronic resources must not be used to:

    • Harm other people.
    • Interfere with other people’s work.
    • Use a computer to steal property.
    • Gain unauthorized access to other people’s files or programs.
    • Gain unauthorized access to online resources by using someone else’s password.
    • Make changes to the hardware or software configuration of any machine, including installing or deleting any software.
    • Improperly using the network, including introducing software viruses and/or bypassing local school or office security policies.
    • Steal or damage data and/or computers and network equipment.
    • Access, upload, download, and distribute pornographic, hate-oriented, profane, obscene, or sexually explicit material.

    Failure to follow these guidelines can violate the Official Code of Georgia, O.C.G.A., Codes 16-9-90, 16-9-91, 16-9-93, and 16-9-93.1 as well as Title XVII of United States Public Law 106-554, known as the Children’s Internet Protection Act. Such actions can also lead to disciplinary actions, up to and including loss of access to GCPS technology resources and further disciplinary actions as defined by existing GCPS policies.