Introduction

It is the policy of Merit Academy to:

  1. prevent user access over its computer network to, or transmission of, inappropriate material via Internet, electronic mail, or other forms of direct electronic communications;
  2. prevent unauthorized access and other unlawful online activity;
  3. prevent unauthorized online disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors; and
  4. comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act [Pub. L. No. 106-554 and 47 USC 254(h)].

Definitions

Key terms are as defined in the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

Access to Inappropriate Material

To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet filters”) shall be used to block or filter Internet, or other forms of electronic communications, access to inappropriate information.

Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, blocking shall be applied to visual depictions of material deemed obscene or child pornography, or to any material deemed harmful to minors.

Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled for adults or, in the case of minors, minimized only for bona fide research or other lawful purposes.

Inappropriate Network Usage

To the extent practical, steps shall be taken to promote the safety and security of users of Merit Academy’s online computer network when using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and other forms of direct electronic communications.

Specifically, as required by the Children’s Internet Protection Act, prevention of inappropriate network usage includes: (a) unauthorized access, including so-called ‘hacking,’ and other unlawful activities; and (b) unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal identification information regarding minors.

Education, Supervision and Monitoring

It shall be the responsibility of all members of the Merit Academy staff to educate, supervise and monitor appropriate usage of the online computer network and access to the Internet in accordance with this policy, the Children’s Internet Protection Act, the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act, and the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act.

Procedures for the disabling or otherwise modifying any technology protection measures shall be the responsibility of the school director or designated representatives.

The school director or designated representatives will provide all parents and students a document outlining Merit’s internet safety policies. The document must be signed by both a parent/guardian and by the student before the student is allowed to access Merit Academy’s network. The document provided will be designed to promote Merit’s commitment to:

  1. The standards and acceptable use of Internet services as set forth in the Merit’s Internet Safety Policy;
  2. Student safety with regard to:
    1. safety on the Internet;
    2. appropriate behavior while online

Additional training will be provided by Merit to promote the following:

  1. Cyber bullying awareness and response
  2. Use of social networking sites and
  3. Use of chat rooms

Adoption

This Internet Safety Policy was adopted by the Board of Merit Academy at a public meeting, following normal public notice, on Date__