To All School-it readers:
Adam asked that this be posted. I agree with his interpretation --
although the law does not mandate blocking of IM, I can't see how a
serious policy can address the safety and security issues without it.
At FETC, Alan November mentioned three middle school girls who attempted
(2 succeeded) suicide as a result of IM messages against them. I
hesitate to mention this as I don't have a direct citation, and he did
not provide more details.
I have been asked to post local 'policy' on Instant Messaging (IM)
services here at South Burlington School District. I am not an active
subscriber to the 'school-it' Listserv at UVM and if subscription is
mandated to post could someone please toss this in ?
Just to clarify, it is our interpretation that NCLB does not mandate
that IM services are blocked. CIPA does though - and here's the verbiage
and the rational behind SB's decision at this time:
<<<INS Message from Marian Kenseth:
Good question. The law states that the Internet Safety Policy must
address, "the safety and security of minors when using electronic
mail, chat rooms, and other forms of direct electronic
communications." Furthermore "the policy must include monitoring
the online activities of minors."
If one could prove that the safety and security of the minors are
protected while using instant messaging and that one could monitor
that activity to insure the safety and security, you would not need to
L. Paul Irish
Director of Information Technology
Burlington School District
150 Colchester Ave.
Burlington, VT, 05401
E-Mail: [log in to unmask]
>>> End Message
"the policy must include monitoring the online activities of minors"
being the key issue here. To date, there is no effective way to monitor
IM traffic - which CIPA requires us to do - by the letter that is. This
policy at SB can be revisited, but for now, the powers that be and legal
counsel decided that this translation of CIPA guidelines means no IM at
Interpretation is 9/10 of the law. Or was that possession ? ;) Seems
more like interpretation these days.
Just to clarify, we techies, at SB anyway, like IM services ! IM
services can be a very powerful educational tool and can be very helpful
professionally. Like most things, it's all in the usage. Some of my best
educational time spent has been when I've been labeled as 'wasting
time.' Being CIPA compliant is of some importance as well - especially
if you are the administrator signing off that you/your district is CIPA
compliant. Got to stand somewhere - that's the corner that SBSD is on at
DNS Coordinator, SBSD