Board Policies for Technology

  • Policy 3226/4205 Internet Safety 


    It is the policy of the board to: (a) prevent user access via its technological resources to, or transmission of,  inappropriate material on the Internet or through electronic mail or other forms of direct electronic  communications; (b) prevent unauthorized access to the Internet and devices or programs connected to or  accessible through the Internet; (c) prevent other unlawful online activity; (d) prevent unauthorized online  disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identification information of minors; and (e) comply with the  Children’s Internet Protection Act. 

    2. Technology Protection Measure 

    The term “technology protection measure” means a specific technology that blocks or filters Internet  access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors. 2. Harmful to Minors 

    The term “harmful to minors” means any picture, image, graphic image file, or other visual depiction  that: 

    1. taken as a whole and with respect to minors, appeals to a prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion; 
    2. depicts, describes, or represents, in a patently offensive way with respect to what is suitable for minors, an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or a lewd exhibition of the genitals; and 
    3. taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value as to minors. 3. Child Pornography 

    The term “child pornography” means any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video  picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by  electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where: 

    1. the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; 
    2. such visual depiction is a digital image, computer image, or computer-generated image that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or 
    3. such visual depiction has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that an identifiable minor is engaging in sexually explicit conduct. 
    4. Sexual Act; Sexual Contact The terms “sexual act” and “sexual contact” have the meanings given such terms in section 2246 of  title 18, United States Code
    1. Minor 

    For purposes of this policy, the term “minor” means any individual who has not attained the age of 17  years. 


    To the extent practical, technology protection measures (or “Internet filters”) will be used to block or filter  access to inappropriate information on the Internet and World Wide Web. Specifically, blocking will be  applied to audio and visual depictions deemed obscene or to be child pornography or harmful to minors.  Student access to other materials that are inappropriate to minors will also be restricted. The board has  determined that audio or visual materials that depict violence, nudity, or graphic language that does not  serve a legitimate pedagogical purpose are inappropriate for minors. The superintendent, in conjunction  with a school technology and media advisory committee (see policy 3200, Selection of Instructional  Materials), shall make a determination regarding what other matter or materials are inappropriate for minors.  School system personnel may not restrict Internet access to ideas, perspectives, or viewpoints if the  restriction is motivated solely by disapproval of the viewpoints involved.  

    A student or employee must immediately notify the appropriate school official if the student or employee  believes that a website or web content that is available to students through the school system’s Internet  access is obscene, constitutes child pornography, is “harmful to minors” as defined by CIPA, or is otherwise  inappropriate for students. Students must notify a teacher or the school principal; employees must notify the  superintendent or designee. 

    Due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, sometimes Internet websites and web material that should not be  restricted are blocked by the Internet filter. A student or employee who believes that a website or web  content has been improperly blocked by the school system’s filter should bring the website to the attention  of the principal. The principal shall confer with the technology director to determine whether the site or  content should be unblocked. The principal shall notify the student or teacher promptly of the decision. The  decision may be appealed through the school system’s grievance procedure. (See policies 1740/4010, Student and Parent Grievance Procedure, and 1750/7220, Grievance Procedure for Employees.) Subject to staff supervision, technology protection measures may be disabled during use by an adult for  bona fide research or other lawful purposes. 


    All users of school system technological resources are expected to comply with the requirements established  in policy 3225/4312/7320, Technology Responsible Use. In particular, users are prohibited from: (a)  attempting to gain unauthorized access, including “hacking” and engaging in other similar unlawful  activities; and (b) engaging in the unauthorized disclosure, use, or dissemination of personal identifying  information regarding minors.  


    To the extent practical, steps will be taken to promote the safety and security of users of the school system’s  online computer network, especially when they are using electronic mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, and  other forms of direct electronic communications. It is the responsibility of all school personnel to educate,  supervise, and monitor 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 are the  responsibility of the technology director or designated representatives. 

    The technology director or designated representatives shall provide age-appropriate training for students  who use the school system’s Internet services. The training provided will be designed to promote the school  system’s commitment to educating students in digital literacy and citizenship, including: 

    1. the standards and acceptable use of Internet services as set forth in policy 3225/4312/7320,  Technology 

    Responsible Use; 

    1. student safety with regard to safety on the Internet, appropriate behavior while online, including  behavior on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and  response; and 


    1. compliance with the E-rate requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act. 

    Following receipt of this training, the student must acknowledge that he or she received the training,  understood it, and will follow the provisions of policy 3225/4312/7320, Technology Responsible Use. The superintendent shall develop any regulations needed to implement this policy and shall submit any  certifications necessary to demonstrate compliance with this policy. 

    Legal References: Children’s Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 254(h); Neighborhood Children’s Internet  Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 254(l); Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, 47, U.S.C. 254(h) 

    Cross References: Professional and Staff Development (policy 1610/7800), Student and Parent Grievance Procedure (policy 1740/4010), Grievance Procedure for Employees (policy 1750/7220), Technology in the Educational Program (policy 3220), Technology Responsible Use (policy 3225/4312/7320), School Improvement Plan (policy 3430), Use of Equipment, Materials, and Supplies (policy 6520), Network  Security 

    (policy 6524

    Adopted: January 7, 2013 at a public meeting, following normal public notice 

    Replaces: information in policy 3225, Technology Responsible Use (adopted June 7, 2010 and revised  January 

    7, 2013) 

    Revised: November 3, 2014; March 5, 2018 

    Halifax County Schools


    Policy Code: 4318 Use of Wireless Communication Devices 

    The board recognizes that cellular phones and other wireless communication devices  have become an important tool through which parents communicate with their  children. Therefore, students are permitted to possess such devices on school property  so long as the devices are not activated, used, displayed or visible during the  instructional day or as otherwise directed by school rules or school personnel. Wireless  communication devices include, but are not limited to, cellular phones, electronic  devices with internet capability, paging devices, two-way radios and similar devices. 


    Administrators may authorize individual students to use wireless communication  devices for personal purposes when there is a reasonable need for such  communication. Teachers and administrators may authorize individual students to use  the devices for instructional purposes, provided that they supervise the students during  such use. 

    Although use generally is permitted before and after school, use of cellular phones and  other wireless communication devices may be prohibited on school buses when noise  from such devices interferes with the safe operation of the buses. In addition,  elementary and middle school students who participate in after-school programs are  prohibited from using wireless communication devices during such programs. 


    School employees may immediately confiscate any wireless communication devices  that are on, used, displayed or visible in violation of this policy. Absent compelling and  unusual circumstances, confiscated wireless communication devices will be returned  only to the student's parent. 

    The disciplinary consequences for violations of this policy shall be consistent with  Section D of policy 4300, Student Behavior Policies. The superintendent or designee  shall list in the Code of Student Conduct the specific range of consequences that may  be imposed on a student for violations of this policy. 

    The following factors should be considered when determining appropriate  consequences: whether the wireless communication device was used: (1) to reproduce  images of tests, obtain unauthorized access to school information or assist students in  any aspect of their instructional program in a manner that violates any school board  policy, the Code of Student Conduct, administrative regulation or school rule; (2) to bully  or harass other students; (3) to send illicit text messages; (4) to take and/or send illicit  photographs; or (5) in any other manner that would make more severe disciplinary  consequences appropriate. 



    Policy Code: 3220 Technology in the Educational Program 

    The board strives to incorporate the use of technological resources into the educational  program in order to enhance instructional opportunities, appeal to different learning  styles and meet the educational goals of the board. 

    Schools are encouraged to develop strategies for using technological resources to  improve student success. The strategies should be included in the school improvement  plan if they require the transfer of funds or otherwise relate to any mandatory or optional  components of the school improvement plan. 

    The superintendent shall integrate digital planning to support teaching and learning  needs into school system strategic planning efforts and shall include various  stakeholders such as curriculum leaders, teachers, administrators, representatives from  technology services and instructional technology, finance and other departments as  required. 

    The superintendent shall establish relationships with businesses and seek grants and  other funding sources in an effort to acquire technological resources for the educational  program. 


    Technological resources include, but are not limited to, the following: (1 hardware,  including both fixes and mobile technologies and devices such as desktop  computers, laptops, netbooks, tablets, e-readers, smartphones, and gaming  devices; (2) software; (3) network and telecommunication systems and services;  (4) Internet access; (5) multimedia equipped classrooms; (6) computer classrooms  and laboratories; and (7) other existing or emerging mobile communications  systems. All technological resources must be purchased and used in a manner  consistent with applicable law and board policy, including laws and policies related  to copyright, public records, bidding and other purchase requirements, staff duties  and standards for student behavior. 

    Technological resources must meet or exceed the following standards before they  may be considered for implementation. 

    1. Technological resources must relate to or help to implement the current  statewide instructional standards or the programs of the school system. 
    2. Technological resources must relate to the current use of learning and  instructional management technologies in the school. 
    3. Technological resources must be compatible with the condition of the  network. The technology director shall set minimum standards for  

    technological resources that are purchased or donated. Upgrading, 


    Policy 3225/4312/7320 Technology Responsible Use 

    The board provides its students and staff access to a variety of technological resources. These resources  provide opportunities to enhance learning and improve communication within the school community and  with the larger global community. Through the school system’s technological resources, users can observe  events as they occur around the world, interact with others on a variety of subjects, and acquire access to  current and in-depth information. 

    The board intends that students and employees benefit from these resources while remaining within the  bounds of safe, legal, and responsible use. Accordingly, the board establishes this policy to govern student  and employee use of school system technological resources. This policy applies regardless of whether such  use occurs on or off school system property, and it applies to all school system technological resources,  including but not limited to computer networks and connections, the resources, tools, and learning  environments made available by or on the networks, and all devices that connect to those networks.


    1. Expectations for Use of School Technological Resources The use of school system technological resources, including access to the Internet, is a privilege, not a  right. Individual users of the school system’s technological resources are responsible for their  behavior and communications when using those resources. Responsible use of school system  technological resources is use that is ethical, respectful, academically honest, and supportive of  student learning. Each user has the responsibility to respect others in the school community and on  the Internet. Users are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette.  General student and employee behavior standards, including those prescribed in applicable board  policies, the Code of Student Conduct, and other regulations and school rules, apply to use of the  Internet and other school technological resources. 

    In addition, anyone who uses school system computers or electronic devices or who accesses the  school network or the Internet using school system resources must comply with the additional rules  for responsible use listed in Section B, below. These rules are intended to clarify expectations for  conduct but should not be construed as all-inclusive. 

    Before using the Internet, all students must be trained about appropriate online behavior as provided  in policy 3226/4205, Internet Safety.  

    All students and employees must be informed annually of the requirements of this policy and the  methods by which they may obtain a copy of this policy. Before using school system technological  resources, students and employees must sign a statement indicating that they understand and will  strictly comply with these requirements and acknowledging awareness that the school system uses  monitoring systems to monitor and detect inappropriate use of technological resources. Failure to  adhere to these requirements will result in disciplinary action, including revocation of user privileges.  Willful misuse may result in disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution under applicable state  and federal law.  

    1. Rules for Use of School Technological Resources 
    2. School system technological resources are provided for school-related purposes only.  Acceptable uses of such technological resources are limited to responsible, efficient, and  legal activities that support learning and teaching. Use of school system technological  resources for commercial gain or profit is prohibited. Student personal use of school system  technological resources for amusement or entertainment is also prohibited. Because some  incidental and occasional personal use by employees is inevitable, the board permits  infrequent and brief personal use by employees so long as it occurs on personal time, does  not interfere with school system business, and is not otherwise prohibited by board policy or  procedure. 
    3. Under no circumstance may software purchased by the school system be copied for personal use. 
    4. Students and employees must comply with all applicable laws, including those relating to copyrights and trademarks, confidential information, and public records. Any use that violates state or federal law is strictly prohibited. Plagiarism of Internet resources will be treated in the same manner as any other incidents of plagiarism, as stated in the Code of Student Conduct. 
    5. No user of technological resources, including a person sending or receiving electronic communications, may engage in creating, intentionally viewing, accessing, downloading, storing, printing, or transmitting images, graphics (including still or moving pictures), sound files, text files, documents, messages, or other material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, pornographic, harassing, abusive, or considered to be harmful to minors. 
    6. The use of anonymous proxies to circumvent content filtering is prohibited. 
    7. Users may not install or use any Internet-based file sharing program designed to facilitate sharing of copyrighted material. 
    8. Users of technological resources may not send electronic communications fraudulently (i.e., by misrepresenting the identity of the sender). 
    9. Users must respect the privacy of others. When using e-mail, chat rooms, blogs, or other forms of electronic communication, students must not reveal personal identifying information or information that is private or confidential, such as the home address or telephone number, credit or checking account information, or social security number of themselves or fellow students. For further information regarding what constitutes personal identifying information, see policy 4705/7825, Confidentiality of Personal Identifying Information. In addition, school employees must not disclose on school system websites or web pages or elsewhere on the Internet any personally identifiable, private, or confidential information concerning students (including names, addresses, or pictures) without the written permission of a parent or guardian or an eligible student, except as otherwise permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or policy 4700, Student Records. Users also may not forward or post personal communications without the author’s prior consent. 
    10. Users may not intentionally or negligently damage computers, computer systems, electronic devices, software, computer networks, or data of any user connected to school system technological resources. Users may not knowingly or negligently transmit computer viruses or self-replicating messages or deliberately try to degrade or disrupt system performance. Users must scan any downloaded files for viruses. 
    11. Users may not create or introduce games, network communications programs, or any foreign program or software onto any school system computer, electronic device, or network without the express permission of the technology director or designee. 
    12. Users are prohibited from engaging in unauthorized or unlawful activities, such as “hacking” rousing the computer network to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized or unlawful access to other computers, computer systems, or accounts. 
    13. Users are prohibited from using another individual’s ID or password for any technological resource without permission from the individual. Students must also have permission from the teacher or other school official.
    14. Users may not read, alter, change, block, execute, or delete files or communications belonging to another user without the owner’s express prior permission. 
    15. Employees shall not use passwords or user IDs for any data system (e.g., the state student information and instructional improvement system applications, time-keeping software, etc.) for an unauthorized or improper purpose. 
    16. If a user identifies a security problem on a technological resource, he or she must immediately notify a system administrator. Users must not demonstrate the problem to other users. Any user identified as a security risk will be denied access. 
    17. Teachers shall make reasonable efforts to supervise students’ use of the Internet during instructional time. 
    18. Views may be expressed on the Internet or other technological resources as representing the view of the school system or part of the school system only with prior approval by the superintendent or designee. 
    19. Restricted Material on the Internet 

    The Internet and electronic communications offer fluid environments in which students may access or  be exposed to materials and information from diverse and rapidly changing sources, including some  that may be harmful to students. The board recognizes that it is impossible to predict with certainty  what information on the Internet students may access or obtain. Nevertheless, school system  personnel shall take reasonable precautions to prevent students from accessing material and  information that is obscene, pornographic, or otherwise harmful to minors, including violence, nudity,  or graphic language that does not serve a legitimate pedagogical purpose. The superintendent shall  ensure that technology protection measures are used as provided in policy 3226/4205, Internet Safety,  and are disabled or minimized only when permitted by law and board policy. The board is not  responsible for the content accessed by users who connect to the Internet via their personal mobile  telephone technology (e.g., 3G, 4G service). 

    1. Parental Consent 

    The board recognizes that parents of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards  their children should follow when using media and information sources. Accordingly, before a  student may independently access the Internet, the student’s parent must be made aware of the  possibility that the student could obtain access to inappropriate material while engaged in independent  use of the Internet. The parent and student must consent to the student’s independent access to the  Internet and to monitoring of the student’s Internet activity and e-mail communication by school  personnel.  

    In addition, in accordance with the board’s goals and visions for technology, students may require  accounts in third party systems for school related projects designed to assist students in mastering  effective and proper online communications or to meet other educational goals. Parental permission  will be obtained when necessary to create and manage such third party accounts. 

    1. Privacy 

    Students, employees, visitors, and other users have no expectation of privacy in anything they create,  store, send, delete, receive, or display when using the school system’s network, devices, Internet  access, email system, or other technological resources owned or issued by the school system, whether  the resources are used at school or elsewhere, and even if the use is for personal purposes. Users  should not assume that files or communications created, transmitted, or displayed using school system  technological resources or stored on servers or on the storage mediums of individual devices will be private. The school system may, without notice, (1) monitor, track, and/or log network access,  communications, and use; (2) monitor and allocate fileserver space; and (3) access, review, copy,  store, delete, or disclose the content of all user files, regardless of medium, the content of electronic  mailboxes, and system outputs, such as printouts, for any lawful purpose. Such purposes may  include, but are not limited to, maintaining system integrity, security, or functionality, ensuring  compliance with board policy and applicable laws and regulations, protecting the school system from  liability, and complying with public records requests. School system personnel shall monitor online  activities of individuals who access the Internet via a school owned device. 

    By using the school system’s network, Internet access, email system, devices, or other technological  resources, individuals consent to have that use monitored by authorized school system personnel as  described in this policy. 

    1. Use of Personal Technology on School System Property Each principal may establish rules for his or her school site as to whether and how personal  technology devices (including, but not limited to smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) may be used on  campus. Students’ devices are governed also by policy 4318, Use of Wireless Communication  Devices. The school system assumes no responsibility for personal technology devices brought to  school. 
    2. Personal Websites 

    The superintendent may use any means available to request the removal of personal websites that  substantially disrupt the school environment or that utilize school system or individual school names,  logos, or trademarks without permission. 

    1. Students 

    Though school personnel generally do not monitor students’ Internet activity conducted on non school system devices during non-school hours, when the student’s online behavior has a direct  and immediate effect on school safety or maintaining order and discipline in the schools, the  student may be disciplined in accordance with board policy (see the student behavior policies in  the 4300 series). 

    1. Employees 

    Employees’ personal websites are subject to policy 7335, Employee Use of Social Media. 3. Volunteers 

    Volunteers are to maintain an appropriate relationship with students at all times. Volunteers are  encouraged to block students from viewing personal information on volunteer personal websites  or online networking profiles in order to prevent the possibility that students could view  materials that are not age-appropriate. An individual volunteer’s relationship with the school  system may be terminated if the volunteer engages in inappropriate online interaction with  students. 

    Legal References: U.S. Const. amend. I; Children’s Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 254(h)(5); Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2522; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; 20 U.S.C. 7131; G.S. 115C-325(e) (applicable to career status teachers), - 325.4 

    (applicable to non-career status teachers) 

    Cross References: Curriculum and Instructional Guides (policy 3115), Technology in the Educational  Program 

    (policy 3220), Internet Safety (policy 3226/4205), Web Page Development (policy 3227/7322), Use of  Personal 

    Technology to Conduct School Business (policy 3228/7323), Copyright Compliance (policy 3230/7330), Student 

    Behavior Policies (all policies in the 4300 series), Student Records (policy 4700), Confidentiality of  Personal 

    Identifying Information (policy 4705/7825), Public Records – Retention, Release and Disposition (policy 5070/7350), Use of Equipment, Materials and Supplies (policy 6520), Network Security (policy 6524), Staff  Responsibilities (policy 7300), Employee Use of Social Media (policy 7335

    Replaces: 5232 (adopted April 9, 1998) 

    Adopted: June 7, 2010 

    Revised: January 7, 2013; November 3, 2014; March 2, 2015; March 6, 2017; March 5, 2018; February 3,  2020 

    Halifax County Schools