The dangers of online communications are an unfortunate reality for any parent of a teenager these days. Although Archbishop Mitty High School supports the academic use of the internet and information technology as an integral part of our curriculum here on campus, we are well aware of the potential risks that out students face communicating online off campus.
The school’s concerns are the following regarding such Internet communication:
- students may unknowingly include identifiable information (including pictures) that anyone, including potential predators, can access. This includes photos (which can be digitally altered), school identification, family/residence information, etc.
- students may be “blogging” about illegal or immoral/lewd behavior;
- students may be gossiping about, harassing, or threatening others.
In our School Policies we state that we hold our students accountable for appropriate behavior both on and off campus. Although time constraints prohibit us from searching the Web for illicit or inappropriate student blogs, understand that serious disciplinary consequences will ensue should we find evidence of such behavior from your student, including the possibility of dismissal. In some cases, the police may also become involved. These sites are public domain and do not constitute invasion of privacy.
What can parents do?
Talk with your teenager about the potential danger in posting personal information online and the possible consequences or risks associated with this behavior. Since information posted online is considered “public” in nature, it is important that students understand that they are legally accountable for what is posted and certainly behaviorally responsible as a student of Archbishop Mitty.
Remind your student that posting private information online or through text messages that reveals the family address, phone number, school name or other personal details could endanger your family.
Advise your student that when on the Internet, never assume that you are anonymous, and never “say” anything you wouldn’t sign your name to because this can be traced.
Take a proactive role in their online activities by monitoring the websites that they frequent, looking at the content being posted on the site and requiring equal access to the forums and social networking sites that they use. Remind your student that posting inappropriate pictures, talking about illegal or immoral behavior, or harassing other people is unacceptable and could result in their victimization.
Considering that most students have cell phones, it is suggested for parents to also discuss the student’s responsibility when texting and/or sharing pictures or videos through mobile devices.
For further information and suggestions on how to keep teenagers safe in an online world parents can access some of these resources: NetSmartz WorkShop (SJ Police and AMHS are using this program to educate kids in schools); Netlingo (List of Chat Acronyms and Text Message Shorthand); Wired Kids, Inc.; Teen Angels.
This school’s Internet facilities and computing resources must not be used to violate the laws and regulations of the United States, the State of California, or local jurisdiction. Use of any school resources for illegal activity is grounds for immediate dismissal, and the school will cooperate with any legitimate law enforcement activity. For example, the school’s resources may not be used to deliberately propagate any virus, worm, Trojan horse, or trap-door program code or to knowingly download, copy, or distribute pirated software or data. In addition, no person may use the school’s facilities to disable or overload any computer system or network, or to circumvent any system intended to protect the privacy or security of another user. No one may upload or transfer any software or data owned or licensed by the school without explicit authorization from the manager responsible for the software or data.
Cell phones and personal listening devices, including iPods, may not be out or in use anywhere on campus during school hours from 7:50-2:00 p.m. Outside of school hours these items must be used outdoors. None of these devices are permitted in the library after school. Students using cell phones or personal listening devices between the hours of 7:50-2:00 p.m. risk having them confiscated for 24 hours and having to serve detention. Specific policies governing the use of the iPad are listed below.
Electronic devices are brought to school at the student’s own risk, e.g., portable music players, cell phones, handheld organizers, laptop computers, and all types of cameras. AMHS absolves itself of any financial responsibility in the case of the theft of such items. However, all theft should be reported to the Dean of Students.
Computing devices other than the school-issued iPads are not to be used in class sessions without the permission of the teacher.
First and foremost, the computers, network, and Internet access at Archbishop Mitty High School are educational tools, provided at significant cost. Our computing and Internet resources are to be used primarily for educational purposes, such as to complete assignments, to research relevant topics, and to obtain useful school-related information.
Second, unnecessary or unauthorized Internet usage causes network and server congestion. It slows other users, consumes supplies, and ties up shared resources.
Third, our connection to the Internet opens the door to some significant risks to our data and systems if we do not follow appropriate security procedures. We expect that students conduct themselves appropriately on the Internet and when using school computers. Students must respect the copyrights, software licensing rules, property rights, and privacy of others. We expect the use of school computing and Internet resources to adhere to the philosophy and policies of Archbishop Mitty High School.
Monitoring Technology Use
The school has software and systems in place that can monitor, record, and filter computer, network, and Internet usage. These security systems are capable of recording each World Wide Web site visit, each chat, newsgroup, or e-mail message, and each file transfer into and out of our internal networks, and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Additionally, the school reserves the right to inspect files stored in private areas of our network.
Use of the Internet must be consistent with the educational objectives of Archbishop Mitty. Through the Internet, it is possible to access information that may be inappropriate, such as advocacy of hate or violence, vulgar jokes, and indecent or obscene material, even when filtering systems are in use. Using the computing or Internet resources of Archbishop Mitty to access or view offensive or obscene material is prohibited. Because filtering systems are not 100-percent effective, the ability to access offensive material on the Internet through school resources should not be construed as permission to access that material.
Unfortunately, the Internet has led to an increase in plagiarism. Using the Internet to cheat on school assignments is not permitted. This includes using or copying material from any Internet site without proper citation, or using foreign-language translation sites to complete assignments. Please consult the Academic Integrity section of our web site.
User ID’s and passwords help maintain individual accountability for Internet resource usage. Any student who obtains a password or ID for an Internet or network resource from the school must keep that password confidential. School policy prohibits the sharing of user ID’s or passwords obtained for access to network or Internet sites. Any person who steals or attempts to steal passwords, accesses another user’s account, or in any way tries to access unauthorized computer systems or data is subject to dismissal.
As a computer user, I agree to follow the rules and code of ethics stated herein in all my work with computers while attending Archbishop Mitty High School. I understand that if I participate in any of the following behaviors, I can face significant disciplinary actions:
- I will not check e-mail, or use bulletin boards or chat rooms; personal email may be used for academic purposes only. I will not view DVDs, play music or games, or be on nonacademic websites.
- I will not share my password with anyone at any time, reveal home addresses, phone numbers, the name of my school, or any other information that could help someone determine my actual identity.
- I recognize that the work of all users is valuable; therefore, I will protect the privacy of others by not trying to learn passwords. I will not copy, change, read, or use files from another user without prior permission from that user.
- I will not attempt to gain access or “hack” into computers, servers, networks, or other systems that I am not authorized to use.
- I recognize that any transmission or downloading of material in violation of federal or state regulation is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, copyrighted material or material protected by trade secret. I will not use school computers and networking resources for commercial activities or for product advertisement or political lobbying. I will not make unauthorized copies of software, and I will not give, lend, or sell copies of software to others. I understand that I will not be allowed to bring software applications, games, or CD-ROMs from home to be used on school equipment.
- I will respect copyright laws. When writing papers I will make sure that the online sources of information are credible, and I will always cite my sources.
- I will honor my school’s procedures for the storage of information. I will not archive, store, distribute, edit, or record offensive/obscene or threatening material using the school’s resources. I understand that I am expected to save files that I want to keep in my digital locker. I realize that, after prior notice has been given to me, files may be deleted from the system to protect the integrity of the network or because of space limitations on the file server.
- I understand that if I bring my personal laptop to school, it can be used only for academic work during school hours, 7:50-2:35 (in the library from 7:20-4:30). I understand that all of the Student Rules and Code of Ethical Technology Use contained herein also apply to personal laptops at school.
- I recognize that the use of the computer is a privilege, not a right. Vandalism or intentional modification of system settings will result in school disciplinary action. The school reserves the right to seek financial restitution for any damage I cause. Teachers or supervisors will deem what is inappropriate use, and their decision is final.
In addition, appropriate behavior is expected of all Mitty students at all times and in all places, including home computer use. Archbishop Mitty students are expected to represent the school well at all times and must comply with all civil laws. Failure to do so may result in serious disciplinary consequences, including the possibility of dismissal.
- I will avoid online behavior that is degrading, offensive, inflammatory, harassing, or devalues the dignity of a person, including:
- cyber bullying;
- the display of posters, cartoons, written words, drawings, symbols, and gestures;
- derogatory comments and jokes/slurs about any person on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, immigrant status, homelessness, economic status, age, gender, sexual orientation, medical condition, physical appearance, or physical or mental disability;
- requests for sexual favors, sexually demeaning comments, sexual statements, questions, slurs, jokes, anecdotes, epithets, or any suggestive or obscene communication of any kind;
- displays in any format of pornography, sexually suggestive objects or pictures, cartoons, posters or other offensive material.
- I will avoid any online threat of force or violence directed toward any member of the AMHS community, even if there is no intent to carry out the threat.
- I will not use the AMHS name, initials, or logo without direct permission. It is unacceptable to display pictures of staff, students, the school, or school activities without direct permission from the parties involved.
- I will not reveal any personal information about friends, other students, staff members, or family without their permission. The Internet is a large community. Therefore, my behavior while on it affects others. I will always treat others the way I would like to be treated.
- I understand that piracy is illegal and keeps authors, artists, and others from getting paid for their work. I will never download things such as pictures, games, music, or movies that have not been given to the public for free.
Violations of the Code of Ethical Technology Use described above will be dealt with seriously by the Dean of Students Office and will have serious consequences.
The iPad program at Archbishop Mitty High School provides tools and resources to the student. Effective teaching and learning with iPads integrates technology into the curriculum anytime, anyplace. Students must abide by the policies of the school to effectively use the iPad to enhance learning in the classroom and outside the classroom.
The policies, procedures and information within this document apply to all iPads used at Archbishop Mitty High School. Teachers may set additional requirements for use in their respective classroom.
Above all, the iPad program at AMHS is an academic program and the policies governing the use of the iPad support its academic use.
A. iPad Distribution and Care
B. General Precautions
C. Sound, Music, Games, Pictures, or Programs
D. Prohibited Use
E. General Rules for iPad Use