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School Board will revisit telecommunications policy

May 16, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

The Washington County Board of Education will be asked next month to approve an updated version of a policy that guides Internet use of employees and students.

There are no major changes to the policy, according to Betsy Klein, the board's technology director.

The acceptable use policy for telecommunication, including the Internet and e-mail, practically became obsolete after it was adopted in August 1996, Klein told School Board members during Tuesday morning's work session.

The committee recommending revisions also wants to replace a systemwide parental permission slip for telecommunication use. Instead, committee members want individual schools to create their own so the permission slip is better geared to the age group at the school, Klein said.

Proposed revisions address privacy and due process issues.

The proposal states the School Board would cooperate with law enforcement officials investigating illegal activity conducted with the school board's telecommunication system.

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It also cautions users that other people could have access to their personal files.

Those files could be available under the Maryland public records laws and in litigation, the proposal states.

The policy already stated the School Board's telecommunications were for school-related activities only, but the revision specifies the equipment cannot be used for lobbying or other personal political activities.

The policy would continue to prohibit the use of obscene language or access to profane material.

The board must vote whether to adopt the revisions at its June 6 business meeting in time for the updated policy to be printed in the new student handbooks.

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