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MCPSS BYOD Acceptable Use Policy


Mobile County Public Schools

Acceptable Use Policy 2012-2013


Mobile County Public Schools recognizes that access to technology in school gives students

greater opportunities to learn, engage, communicate, and develop skills that will prepare them

for work, life, and citizenship. We are committed to helping students develop 21st-century technology and communication skills. To that end, we provide access to technologies for student and staff use.

This Acceptable Use Policy outlines the guidelines and behaviors that users are expected to

follow when using school technologies or when using personally-owned devices on the school campus.

œThe Mobile County Public Schools network is intended for educational purposes.

œ All activity over the network or using district technologies may be monitored and


œ Access to online content via the network may be restricted in accordance with our

policies and federal regulations, such as the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

œStudents are expected to follow the same rules for good behavior and respectful

conduct online as offline.

œMisuse of school resources can result in disciplinary action.

œMobile County Public Schools makes a reasonable effort to ensure students' safety and

security online, but will not be held accountable for any harm or damages that result from use of school technologies.

œUsers of the district network or other technologies are expected to alert IT staff

immediately of any concerns for safety or security.

Technologies Covered

Mobile County Public Schools may provide Internet access, desktop computers, mobile

computers or devices, videoconferencing capabilities, online collaboration capabilities, message boards, email, and more.

As new technologies emerge, Mobile County Public Schools will attempt to provide access to

them. The policies outlined in this document are intended to cover


all available technologies, not just those specifically listed.

Usage Policies

All technologies provided by the district are intended for education purposes. All users are expected to use good judgment and to follow the specifics of this document as well as the spirit

of it: be safe, appropriate, careful and kind; don't try to get around technological protection measures; use good common sense; and ask if you don't know.

Web Access

Mobile County Public Schools provides its users with access to the Internet, including web sites,

resources, content, and online tools. That access will be restricted in compliance with CIPA

regulations and school policies. Web browsing may be monitored and web activity records may be retained indefinitely.

Users are expected to respect that the web filter is a safety precaution, and should not try to

circumvent it when browsing the Web. If a site is blocked and a user believes it shouldn't be,

the user should follow district protocol to alert an IT staff member or submit the site for review.


Mobile County Public Schools may provide users with email accounts for the purpose of school-

related communication. Availability and use may be restricted based on school policies.

If users are provided with email accounts, they should be used with care. Users should not

send personal information; should not attempt to open files or follow links from unknown or untrusted origin; should use appropriate language; and should only communicate with other people as allowed by the district policy or the teacher.

Users are expected to communicate with the same appropriate, safe, mindful, courteous

conduct online as offline. Email usage may be monitored and archived.

Social/Web 2.0 / Collaborative Content

Recognizing the benefits collaboration brings to education, Mobile County Public Schools

may provide users with access to web sites or tools that allow communication, collaboration, sharing, and messaging among users.

Users are expected to communicate with the same appropriate, safe, mindful, courteous

conduct online as offline. Posts, chats, sharing, and messaging may be monitored. Users should be careful not to share personally-identifying information online.

Mobile Devices Policy

Mobile County Public Schools may provide users with mobile computers or other devices to

promote learning outside of the classroom. Users should abide by the same acceptable use policies when using school devices off the school network as on the school network.

Users are expected to treat these devices with extreme care and caution; these are expensive

devices that the school is entrusting to your care. Users should report any loss, damage, or

malfunction to IT staff immediately. Users may be financially accountable for any damage

resulting from negligence or misuse.

Use of school-issued mobile devices off the school network may be monitored.

Personally-Owned Devices Policy

Students should keep personally-owned devices (including laptops, tablets, smart phones, and

cell phones) turned off and put away during school hours


unless in the event of an emergency or as instructed by a teacher or staff for educational purposes.

Because of security concerns, when personally-owned mobile devices are used on campus, they

should not be used over the school network without express permission from IT staff. In some cases, a separate network may be provided for personally-owned devices.


Users are expected to take reasonable safeguards against the transmission of security threats

over the school network. This includes not opening or distributing infected files or programs and not opening files or programs of unknown or untrusted origin.

If you believe a computer or mobile device you are using might be infected with a virus, please

alert IT. Do not attempt to remove the virus yourself or download any programs to help remove the virus.


Users should not download or attempt to download or run .exe programs over the school

network or onto school resources without express permission from IT staff.

You may be able to download other file types, such as images of videos. For the security of our

network, download such files only from reputable sites, and only for education purposes.


Users should always use the Internet, network resources, and online sites in a courteous and

respectful manner.

Users should also recognize that among the valuable content online is unverified, incorrect,

or inappropriate content. Users should use trusted sources when conducting research via the Internet.

Users should also remember not to post anything online that they wouldn't want parents,

teachers, or future colleges or employers to see. Once something is online, it's out there


and can sometimes be shared and spread in ways you never intended.


Users should not plagiarize (or use as their own, without citing the original creator) content, including words or images, from the Internet. Users should not take credit for things they didn't

create themselves, or misrepresent themselves as an author or creator of something found

online. Research conducted via the Internet should be appropriately cited, giving credit to the original author.

Personal Safety

Users should never share personal information, including phone number, address, social

security number, birthday, or financial information, over the Internet without adult permission. Users should recognize that communicating over the Internet brings anonymity and associated risks, and should carefully safeguard the personal information of themselves and others. Users should never agree to meet someone they meet online in real life without parental permission.

If you see a message, comment, image, or anything else online that makes you concerned for

your personal safety, bring it to the attention of an adult (teacher or staff if you're at school; parent if you're using the device at home) immediately.


Cyberbullying will not be tolerated. Harassing, dissing, flaming, denigrating, impersonating,

outing, tricking, excluding, and cyberstalking are all examples of cyberbullying. Don't be

mean. Don't send emails or post comments with the intent of scaring, hurting, or intimidating someone else.

Engaging in these behaviors, or any online activities intended to harm (physically or

emotionally) another person, will result in severe disciplinary action and loss of privileges. In some cases, cyberbullying can be a crime. Remember that your activities are monitored and retained.

Examples of Acceptable Use

I will:

œUse school technologies for school-related activities.

œFollow the same guidelines for respectful, responsible behavior online that I am

expected to follow offline.

œTreat school resources carefully, and alert staff if there is any problem with their


œEncourage positive, constructive discussion if allowed to use communicative or

collaborative technologies.

œAlert a teacher or other staff member if I see threatening, inappropriate, or harmful

content (images, messages, posts) online.

œUse school technologies at appropriate times, in approved places, for educational


œCite sources when using online sites and resources for research.

œRecognize that use of school technologies is a privilege and treat it as such.

œBe cautious to protect the safety of myself and others.

œHelp to protect the security of school resources.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Users should use their own good judgment when

using school technologies.

Examples of Unacceptable Use


I will not:



œUse school technologies in a way that could be personally or physically harmful.


  • Attempt to find inappropriate images or content.

œEngage in cyberbullying, harassment, or disrespectful conduct toward others.

œ Try to find ways to circumvent the school's safety measures and filtering tools.

œ Use school technologies to send spam or chain mail.

œ Plagiarize content I find online.

œPost personally-identifying information, about myself or others.

œ Agree to meet someone I meet online in real life.

œUse language online that would be unacceptable in the classroom.

œUse school technologies for illegal activities or to pursue information on such activities.

œ Attempt to hack or access sites, servers, or content that isn't intended for my use.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Users should use their own good judgment when

using school technologies.

Limitation of Liability

Mobile County Public Schools will not be responsible for damage or harm to persons, files, data,

or hardware.

While Mobile County Public Schools employs filtering and other safety and security

mechanisms, and attempts to ensure their proper function, it makes no guarantees as to their effectiveness.

Mobile County Public Schools will not be responsible, financially or otherwise, for unauthorized

transactions conducted over the school network.

Violations of this Acceptable Use Policy

Violations of this policy may have disciplinary repercussions, including:

œSuspension of network, technology, or computer privileges

œNotification to parents

œDetention or suspension from school and school-related activities

œ Legal action and/or prosecution