Acceptable Usage Policy for Students and Staff

1.0 Policy Purpose

Detroit Public Schools' (DPS) Internet and Intranet environment is available to assist business and educational processes through the utilization of technology and technology related services. Among the essential components of internet usage management are: establishing guidelines for utilization, a means for securing sensitive data and applications; awareness of the monitoring and recording Internet usage; assist in the training of end-users in the proper use of all available access and security technology, search engines usage, and encryption tools. It is the responsibility of the district to protect staff and students against exposure to inappropriate material. The provisions of this policy do not supersede local, state and federal laws. Appropriate Internet usage is important for three central reasons:

  1. Employee and Student Productivity: Organizations typically measure productivity based on specified goals and objectives, as well as by examining how employees and students allocate their time. Management should have the information it needs to examine how employees spend their time on the Internet. While specific student classroom performance may not be measured by internet usage, the management of both amount and quality of time spent on the internet may be useful indicators to teaching staff.
  2. Network Bandwidth and Resources: While Internet access is not free the privilege of using the DPS Internet facilities is a free service provided to students and staff. The privilege of non-business usage of the Internet results in real costs to the organization. For example: the cost to upgrade network resources such as leased lines, routers, disk storage, and printers in order to handle increased load; as well as the cost of wasted time caused by slow network response or unreliable connection.
  3. Potential Legal Liabilities and/or Negative Publicity: Inappropriate usage of the Internet may result in legal liabilities and/or negative publicity to the district. Examples of inappropriate usage include, but are not limited to:
    • The creation of, receipt, display or transmission of certain information may violate software licensing laws and may constitute illegal downloading
    • The creation of, receipt, display or transmission of threatening, hostile, harassing, sexually and/or racially offensive language or any other communication that is deemed inappropriate.
    • Certain activities on the internet may qualify as impermissible personal business conducted from a DPS server
    • Certain activities can result in connection with inappropriate sites on the Internet allowing the district domain (e.g., to be captured, possibly resulting in negative publicity
    • The Detroit Public Schools network must operate under the guidelines of the Children's Information Protection Act (CIPA) and Family Educational Rights and Protection Act (FERPA)
  4. 2.0 Scope

    Detroit Public Schools has provided access to the Internet to its employees and student body. As a provider of Internet services and staff email, Detroit Public Schools must ensure that the Internet, as a productive business tool and enhancement to curriculum-based activities, is used in a way that is legal, safe, and secure. Any employees, students, or business partners representing Detroit Public Schools directly or indirectly on the Internet must adhere to this policy.

    3.0 Policy

    1. The Internet is both a business tool and educational resource for DPS. Access to the Internet is provided by DPS to its employee and student population at a significant cost. That means DPS expects the Internet to be used for business- related purposes, which includes, but is not limited to, communication with customers and suppliers, to research relevant topics, and to obtain useful business or educational information. DPS Internet facilities include the DPS Intranet, cell phones (Blackberry), text messaging, voice mail and all forms of telecommunications.
    2. DPS requires that those employees, students, and others who access the Internet through the DPS network comply with copyright laws, software licensing rules, intellectual property and privacy rights.
    3. All existing DPS policies apply to conduct on the Internet, including, but not limited to DPS policies that address student code of conduct, intellectual property protection, privacy and confidentiality rules, and policies on the misuse of DPS resources, information and data security. Additionally this policy prohibits the transfer and/or dissemination of proprietary information, trade secrets, confidential documents or any other DPS privileged information via the Internet.
    4. Detroit Public Schools does not extend nor imply a right to privacy in Internet usage or Information exchanged on the Internet. As set forth in the Section 4 below, DPS reserves the right to lawfully inspect and monitor Internet usage, to examine any files stored on its network in order to assure compliance with DPS policies, and to limit access to those known areas of the Internet deemed inappropriate content for students and staff.
    5. DPS may be required to preserve stored Internet information for extended or specified periods of time. Pursuant to State Department of Education, Bulletin No. 522, Revised, March 1 997, DPS is required to retain documents that qualify as Business Office Records, Student Educational Records, Pupil Accounting Records, and other miscellaneous information for designated periods of time. If the information or files stored on the Internet fall into one of these categories and/or is required to be retained pursuant to Bulletin No. 522, then DPS may be required to archive such information.
    6. The display of any kind of sexually explicit image or document on any DPS system is a violation of DPS policy, including but not limited to the DPS policy on sexual harassment. .in addition, sexually explicit material may not be archived, stored, distributed, edited, or recorded using DPS network or computing resources.
    7. DPS uses independently supplied software and data to identify inappropriate or sexually explicit Internet sites. DPS may block access from within its networks to all such sites of which DPS is aware. The reporting of Internet related concerns shall be sent to
    8. DPS Internet facilities and computing resources must not be used knowingly to violate the laws and regulations of the United States or any other nation, or the laws and regulations of any state, city, province or other local jurisdiction in any material way.
    9. An individual may not use the DPS-provided internet access to create, receive, display, transmit or download threatening, hostile or harassing information that is derogatory, defamatory, obscene, or offensive, or anything that may be perceived as harassment or disparagement based upon (race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or religious or political beliefs or that is deemed inappropriate based upon federal. civil rights law, Michigan's Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act, or other relevant law.
    10. Software or files downloaded via the Internet into the DPS network will become the property of the DPS and must be used only in ways consistent with the licenses and/or copyrights governing the software or files.
    11. No individual may use DPS Internet facilities to download or distribute pirated software or data.
    12. DPS Internet users may not establish a web site with links to or from the DPS site without prior approval from the Division of Technology and Information Systems or designated Content Management.
    13. No individual may use DPS Internet facilities to deliberately propagate a virus, worm, Trojan horse, trap-door program, or any other malicious code.
    14. No individual may use the DPS Internet facilities knowingly to disable or overload any computer system or network, or to circumvent any system intended to protect the privacy or security of another user.
    15. Individuals using DPS Internet facilities shall identifY himself or herself honestly, accurately, and completely (including DPS affiliation and function where requested) when participating in chat rooms or newsgroups, or when setting up accounts on outside computer systems; however, only those agents, employees or officials who are duly authorized to speak to the media, to analysts, or in public behalf of DPS may speak/write in the name of DPS to any newsgroup or chat room.
    16. DPS Internet users shall not reveal confidential DPS information, customer and student data, trade secrets, or any other material covered by DPS policies and procedures while accessing chat rooms, news groups or public forums.
    17. The use of DPS Internet facilities to commit infractions, including but not limited to, the misuse of DPS assets or resources, sexual harassment, and misappropriation or theft of intellectual property is prohibited by DPS Policy 13.03- Information Security.
    18. Employees and students may use DPS Internet facilities during mealtime, breaks, and outside of work hours, solely in compliance with the DPS Internet Usage policy and other DPS policies.
    19. The availability ofDPS Internet facilities and the appropriateness of usage by employees and students during school hours will be determined by the local school administration.
    20. Employees and Students may not use DPS Internet facilities to play games against opponents, download entertainment software, games, images, or videos unless there is an explicit business-related use for the material.
    21. Non DPS employees, students, agents, or officials who gain access to the internet through DPS provided internet facilities by way of an employee, student, agent or official of DPS are subject to the terms and conditions of the DPS Internet Usage policy.
    22. Web sites deemed by DPS as inappropriate, will be blocked from access.
    23. Internet access external to the DPS Network where either a staff member or student is directly or indirectly associated with DPS that:
      • Violates the DPS Code of Student Conduct
      • Constitutes a threat to any DPS school, district facility, student or staff member including, but not limited to, cyber bullying
      • Causes harm or has the potential to cause harm to any DPS school, district facility, student, or staff member
      • Creates the perception of illegal activities is deemed a violation of this Policy.

    4.0 Monitoring

    DPS has the right to monitor usage of the DPS-provided Intemet facilities by users, including but not limited to, reviewing a list of the sites accessed by an individual. The access to the Internet provided by DPS is for business purposes and the Internet should be used in accordance with the policy provisions set forth above. A DPS Internet user, whether an employee, student, agent or official should not have an expectation of privacy in the use of DPS-provided Internet faci 11 ties nor should they have an expectation of privacy in the information exchanged. Violation of the Internet policy or failure to comply with monitoring guidelines can lead to disciplinary and/or legal consequences.

    Monitoring Approach

    • DPS may monitor Internet usage on a periodic basis (daily, weekly, monthly, and bi-monthly) and may generate Internet usage reports to ensure policy compliance.
    • Violation of the terms of the above-referenced Internet Usage policy, provisions of other relevant DPS policies, federal, state or local laws will constitute non-compliance that carry disciplinary or legal consequences, including but not limited to criminal prosecution.
    • An employee may be notified of non-compliance with the Internet Usage Policy, and/or provisions of other relevant DPS policies, federal, state, or local laws.

    5.0 Issuance of Regulations/Standard Operating Procedures

    The Chief Technology and Infonnation Systems Officer is authorized to develop regulations and guidelines for the implementation this policy.

    6.0 Failure to Comply

    Non-compliance with this policy will be subject to management review and action in conformance with the DPS disciplinary policies and/or relevant legal action. Violation of this policy will treated like other allegations of wrong doing at Detroit Public Schools. Allegations of misconduct will be adjudicated according to the established procedures for Detroit Public Schools. Sanctions for inappropriate use of the Internet may include, but are not limited to:

    • Temporary or permanent revocation of access to some or all computing and networking resources and facilities
    • Disciplinary action according to applicable DPS policies and School Code of Conduct
    • Legal action according to applicable laws and contractual agreements

    7.0 Exceptions

    Any exceptions to this policy must be documented and approved by the DPS Chief Technology and Information Officer and General Superintendent.

    8.0 Confidentiality Issues

    Children's Internet Protection Act - CIPA

    The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) is a Federal law enacted by Congress in December 2000 to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers.

    Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.