Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School’s Technology and Social Media Policies

Students and their parents/guardians will abide by the Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School’s Acceptable Use Policy for school technology resources. School technology resources can include but are not limited to: laptops, printers, Internet access, scanners, projectors, DVD/VCR players, etc. Any violation of the regulations contained in our policy is unethical and may result in disciplinary actions and/or appropriate legal actions. The ability to use school technology resources is a privilege; and such use of school technology resources may be suspended at any time, at the sole discretion of the Headmaster of Saint Thomas’ Episcopal, without any liability or responsibility on the part of the administration, faculty, or staff of Saint Thomas’.

Any misuse of school technology resources must be reported immediately to the Headmaster. Misuse can come in many forms, such as any digital media sent or received that indicate or suggest pornography, unethical or illegal solicitation, racism, sexism, inappropriate language, and other issues described below. All the rules of conduct described in the Saint Thomas’ Episcopal handbook apply while using school technology resources.

Access to school technology resources at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal is intended for educational purposes. It is impossible for Saint Thomas’ Episcopal to restrict access to all controversial and/or non-educational materials. Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School or its faculty, staff, or administration cannot be held responsible for materials acquired on the Internet.

Acceptable Use Policy

Internet and Email

Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School has actively pursued making advanced technology and increased access to learning opportunities available to our students, faculty and staff. As such, students at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal have the opportunity to access the Internet. Access to the Internet enables students exposure to thousands of libraries, databases and other informational sites. With this tool, however, students and parents should be warned that some material accessible via the Internet may contain items that are illegal, defamatory, inaccurate or potentially offensive. Therefore, students must understand and practice proper ethical and legal use.

While our intent is to make Internet access available to further educational goals and objectives, students may find ways to access other material as well. It is the user’s responsibility not to initiate access to such material. We believe that the benefits to students from access to the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration, exceed any disadvantages. Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School has applied content filters on computers. Ultimately, parents and guardians of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow when using media and information sources.

The Internet is to be used for scholarly research and as a means of obtaining needed information. Students are to access educational and appropriate sites only. Pornographic, militant/extremist, racist, and gambling-related are strictly prohibited, as are sites for shopping purposes, downloading music or video, social networking and video streaming. Saint Thomas’ reserves the right to monitor the Internet usage of all students through specialized software reporting.

Students are responsible for good behavior on school computer networks just as they are in the church, classrooms, hallways and other areas of campus. Communications on the network are often public in nature. General school rules for behavior and communications apply.

Copyright Infringement

Transmission of any material in violation of any U.S. or state regulation is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, copyrighted material, threatening or obscene material, or material protected by trade secret. Use for commercial activities, product advertisement, or political lobbying is also prohibited. Students should never copy other people’s work or intellectual property, and submit it as their own.

Social Networking

Students may not use any chat, peer-to-peer (p2p) or collaboration programs to communicate with others through a computer or cell phone during class, unless a teacher or administrator expressly authorizes the activity. Likewise, the playing of games during class time, without teacher approval, is also strictly prohibited. Accessing social networking websites (Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.) are off limits during class time. The use of circumventors to get around school network security is prohibited.

Computer Content

No computer programs, MP3’s, pornography, or copyrighted material may be distributed over the network. This rule prohibits sending files through email as well as setting up “servers” on a student’s laptop, desktop, ipad or by any other physical or electronic means. Students should not download copyrighted MP3’s or non-shareware programs, games, and/or any programs not supported by Saint Thomas’.

Network Etiquette

Students of Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of network etiquette.

These include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Be polite. Do not use abusive language in your message to others.
  • Respond to emails from teachers and administrators upon receiving them.
  • Use appropriate language. Do not swear, use vulgarities or any other inappropriate language.
  • Do not send or display offensive messages or pictures.
  • Do not harass, insult or attack others.
  • Do not send bulk email. This includes chain letters, advertisements, or any other message that includes many different recipients without their consent.
  • Do not reveal your personal address or phone number or those of other students or colleagues.
  • Do not use the network in such a way that you would disrupt the use of the network by other users.
  • Users shall not play games or use the computer resources for other non-academic activities when other users require the system for academic purposes. Likewise, students may not download large files over the Internet during school hours.
  • Do not damage computers, computers systems or computer networks or engage in other acts of vandalism. Vandalism is defined as any malicious attempt to harm or destroy the equipment and/or data of another user or any other agencies or networks that are connected to the system. This includes, but is not limited to, the uploading or creation of computer viruses. The use of intentionally harmful programs is strongly prohibited and will result in serious disciplinary consequences.
  • Do not intentionally waste limited resources such as paper and printer cartridges that are provided by Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School. Only essential materials should be printed. Limitations may be placed on students’ permission to print if this privilege is abused.
  • The volume setting on computers should be low or muted, or students should use headphones when using the computer in a setting that would be distracting to others.

Security

To protect the integrity of a computer system involving many users, Saint Thomas’ Episcopal students are not permitted to:

  • Reveal a password to another user.
  • Use another user’s password to gain access to the network or Internet related resources.
  • Trespass into another user’s files.

Students are responsible for their own electronic devices; laptops, ipads and the like should be kept in a secured locker when not in use. Students involved in after-school activities need to insure that their devices are secure.

Personal Websites and Blogs

Students who develop and maintain personal websites and/or blogs, including but not limited to such accessible sites as Facebook.com and Twitter, and who identify themselves as students at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School must keep in mind they are representing the school in a public forum. Any personal site that contains the name and identity of the school must not contain personal information about the student, inappropriate images or vulgar language that would contradict the values of the school as stated in the school’s mission statement. The following recommendations are made to students with personal webpages and/or blogs:

  • Since websites/blogs are available to anyone at any time, a student should not post personal information that he/she does not want everyone to see and be aware of, including college recruiters, and strangers.
  • Whenever possible, students are encouraged to use a privacy feature that ensures that only those people whom the student approves may have access to the website.
  • Students are advised to be very careful about taking surveys that ask them to reveal personal details about the student’s personal life that should not be information available to the entire public at large.
  • Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School encourages all students to use the internet for its educational potential, but to be very careful of its traps and opportunities for unhealthy and dangerous activity. We are concerned about the safety and reputation of all of our students.

Disclaimer

Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service it is providing students. Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School will not be responsible for any damages suffered while on this system. These damages include, but are not limited to, loss of data as a result of delays, non-deliveries, misdeliveries, or service interruptions caused by the system or your errors or omissions. Use of any information obtained via the information system is at your own risk. Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School specifically disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of information obtained through its service. All users need to consider the source of any information they obtain and consider how valid that information may be.

The use of school technology resources is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use will result in a cancellation of those privileges. Saint Thomas’ Episcopal School reserves the right to review any material on user accounts and to monitor network storage in order to make determinations on whether specific uses of the network are inappropriate. Decisions of the Saint Thomas’ administration regarding unacceptable computer use are final. A student’s use of school technology resources may be revoked, denied or suspended at the request of the Headmaster.