Thank you all for your input.  We do have an AUP at Rutland Northeast SU, of
which Otter Valley is part.  I was wondering how explicit we should be in
advising students and staff of our right to view their [intentionally or
not] saved information.  It sounds as though we are covered.


John DeCicco




-----Original Message-----
From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steve Barner
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2004 11:45 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Confidentiality


This issue has been raised in industry as well.  I believe it is correct to
say that there is an assumption that network storage is is like physical
storage, and the organization has the right to inspect it, but a policy will
go a long way to avoid challenge.  It should be remembered that anyone can
sue anyone else for anything at any time.  They may not win a court case,
but our district's lawyer once told me that it really doesn't matter if you
should be able to win a lawsuit pressed against you as a school.  He said
that the paintiff always gains some financial settlement against a school.
He didn't hedge this at all, in fact, he repeated it.


Personally, I consider this one of the strongest indictments against our
judicial system that I have ever heard.


Steve Barner, South Burlington Schools

>>> [log in to unmask] 02/10/04 11:21AM >>>
School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>It's my understanding that if no policy is in place, and the search is
>performed, the school would be put in a legally precarious position.  I
>would rather let all know that the school reserves the right to search
>the school's computers, although this may be implicitly understood.

The school owns the computing resources much like the school owns the
lockers used by students.  The courts have upheld the school's right to
perform random searches of lockers so I suspect the courts would uphold
the right of the school to police its network.  At the two schools where I
work, I make a regular practice of searching student's home directories
looking for contraband such as MP3's and other types of inappropriate
content.  If I find anything inappropriate, I report it to the building
administrator and appropriate disciplinary action is initiated based upon
the nature and severity of the infraction.

Christopher Haessly
Network Administrator
Chittenden South Supervisory Union
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