Student Safety and Privacy Guidelines
The school district has an obligation to protect student safety and to balance this with the need for open communications when using the Internet. There are documented instances of students being inappropriately identified via the Internet and thereby becoming subjected to unhealthy situations or unwelcome communications.
The purposes of these guidelines are:
- To inform school staff of the possible dangers of allowing students to publish identifying information on the Internet;
- To recognize that there are potential advantages of allowing students to publish identifying information on the Internet; and
- To provide to schools a recommended set of Guidelines governing how student-identifying information should be allowed in publishing on the Internet.
For Elementary and Middle School Students
It is clear that there are significant risks, as well as significant advantages, involved with allowing students to be identified on the Internet. Therefore students should not be easily identifiable from materials they might publish on the Internet. No directory information should be posted on the web for students whose parents have returned the form asking that such information not be released.
- Only first names be used in published student work
- Pictures that are a part of student publishing should not include identifying information
- Under no circumstances should a student's home address or phone number be included.
- If replies to published student work are appropriate, the sponsoring teacher's address should be the email address displayed, not the student's.
- In special circumstances with parent-signed release, identifying information can be added.
For High School Students
While the five bulleted guidelines above apply to K-12, there are circumstances where it might be appropriate for these older students to provide identifying information along with work published on the Internet. The 4J Internet Guidelines Committee recognizes that high school student publications on the Internet may allow more identifying information where it is considered appropriate by both the student and the supervising staff member. One example might be college entrance or employment opportunities that would be enhanced by viewing a student's work on the Internet.
Guidelines: To make this determination the submitting high school student and the supervising staff member must carefully weigh the potential for risk against the perceived advantage of posting this identifying information. Students are required to seek guidance and approval from school staff and are encouraged to involve parents in instances where there is uncertainty before posting identifying information.
Additional Online Resources
Here are several websites that provide safety information for adults and children.
http://www.csriu.org - Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use
http://www.safekids.com/ - general resource site
http://www.getnetwise.org/ - Internet Education Foundation
http://www.wiredsafety.org - Wired Safety
http://www.missingkids.com/ - National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
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