Student Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and Internet Safety


Computers and computing resources are important tools for furthering the Etowah County School District’s educational mission. The Board’s goal in providing these resources to teachers and students is to promote educational excellence by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication. Using these resources is a privilege, not a right. Appropriate use regulations are provided herein to insure you are aware of the responsibilities you are about to acquire.


The Etowah County Schools’ electronic network is available to students, and the goal is to promote educational excellence in schools by facilitating sharing resources and innovations, and through communications. As the technological environment is large and varied, the use of technology by students must be legal and ethical; and it should be consistent with the educational vision, mission and goals of the Board of Education.

The use of the Etowah County Schools’ technology resources is a privilege, not a right. Each user is expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette and provisions in this document. Violations to these provisions, or applicable laws and regulations, may result in the loss of computer services, disciplinary action, appropriate legal action, and/or assessment of the cost of damages to hardware/software.

The following uses of school-provided internet access are not permitted:

a. Accessing, uploading, downloading, or distributing pornographic, obscene, or sexually explicit material;

b. Transmitting obscene, abusive, sexually explicit, or threatening language;

c. Violating any local, state, or federal statute;

d. Accessing another individual’s materials, information, or files without the permission of the person;

e. Violating copyright or otherwise using the intellectual property of another individual or organization without permission;

f. Using passwords other than one’s own without written permission of that person;

g. Vandalizing, defined as any unauthorized access and/or malicious attempt to damage computer hardware/software or networks or destroying the data of another user, including creating, uploading, or intentionally introducing viruses;

h. Using the network for commercial purposes;

i. Harassing, insulting, or attacking others;

j. Giving out personal information on-line such as full name, home address, phone number, etc.;

k. Gaining unauthorized access ("hacking") to resources or entities;

l. Invading the privacy of individuals;

m. Altering the set-up of computers as set by the system administrator;

n. Using software which has not been assigned or approved by staff;

o. Failing to follow a district policy while using computers or failing to follow any other policies or guidelines established by district administration, teacher, or other appropriate district staff;

p. Seeking to gain or gaining unauthorized access to information resources or other computing devices; and/or

q. Accessing chat rooms, and sites selling term papers, book reports and other forms of student coursework.


General Warning; Individual Responsibilities of Parents and Users

All users and their parents/guardians are advised that access to the electronic network may include the potential for access to materials inappropriate for school-aged citizens. Every user must take responsibility for his or her use of the computer network and Internet and should avoid these sites. If a student finds that other users are visiting offensive or harmful sites, he/she should report such use to the person designated by the school.

Personal Safety

Be safe. In using the computer network and Internet, do not reveal personal information such as your home address or telephone number. Do not use your real last name or any other information which might allow a person to locate you without first obtaining the permission of a supervising teacher. Do not arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone you "meet" on the computer network or Internet (at home or elsewhere) without your parent’s permission. Regardless of your age, you should never agree to meet a person you have only communicated with online.

Hacking or other Illegal Activities

It is a violation of the policy to use the school’s network or Internet to gain unauthorized access to other computers or computer systems, or to attempt to gain such unauthorized access. Any use which violates state or federal law relating to copyright, trade secrets, the distribution of obscene or

pornographic materials, or which violates any other applicable law or municipal ordinance is strictly prohibited.


The Etowah County Schools, either by itself or in combination with the Internet Provider, will utilize filtering software or other technologies to prevent students from accessing visual depictions that are (1) obscene, (2) child pornography, (3) harmful to minors. The school will also monitor the online activities of students, through direct observation and/or technological means, to ensure that students are not accessing such depictions or any other material which is inappropriate for minors

The term "harmful to minors" is defined by the Communications Act of 1934 (47 USC Section 254 [h] [7]), as meaning any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction that:

 Taken as a whole and with respect to minors appeals to an interest in nudity or sex;

 Depicts describes, or represents in a patently offensive way with to respect to what is suitable for minors;

 An actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact;

 An actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual act(s), or a lewd exhibition of the genitals;

 Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors;


1. Use digital communications (e.g. blogs, wikis, chats, discussion boards, etc.) responsibly. You will not use computers, personal devices, or the Internet to send or post hate or harassing mail, make discriminatory or derogatory remarks about others, or engage in bullying, harassment, or other antisocial behaviors.

2. Remember that you are an ambassador for the school in all of your online activities.

3. You understand that masquerading, spoofing, or pretending to be someone else is forbidden.

4. You will not attempt to bypass security settings or Internet filters, or interfere with the operation of the network by installing illegal software, shareware, malware, or freeware on school computers.

5. You will follow all guidelines set forth by the Etowah County School District and/or teachers when publishing schoolwork online.

6. You understand the Etowah County Schools’ administrators will deem what conduct is inappropriate use if such conduct is not specified in this agreement.


Consequences of AUP violations include, but are not limited to:

 Suspension of network access

 Revocation of network access

 Suspension of computer access

 Revocation of computer access

 School suspension

 Alternative School Placement

 School expulsion, and/or

 Legal action and prosecution by authorities

Revised 7.18.2012

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