Acceptable Use Policy

The Pittsfield Public School District has invested in technology, network infrastructure, and Internet access to enhance the learning opportunities for all students and staff, to improve communications, and to enhance administrative efficiency. The district is the owner of the computer technology and will establish the regulations for policy determining the use of that technology.

The Pittsfield Public School district offers Internet access for students and staff. The district’s Internet system has been established for specific educational purposes to include classroom activities, career development, and limited high-quality, self-discovery activities. The system has not been established as a free public access forum. Further, the system may not be used for commercial purposes or political lobbying. The district has the right to place reasonable restrictions on the material users access and post, to require training before using the system, and to enforce all rules set forth in district regulations and the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Students and staff should have no expectation of privacy or confidentiality in the content of electronic communications or other computer files sent and received on the district/school computer network or stored in his/her directory. The district or school network’s system manager, or other authorized school employee, may, at any time, review the subject, content, and appropriateness of electronic communications or other computer files, reporting any violations of regulations to appropriate school administrators.

The use of the school district’s computer technology is a privilege and may be revoked at any time, as violations warrant. All students and staff are required to agree to an Acceptable Use Contract before using any district computer or accessing the network. Specific regulations of the contract will be determined by the Superintendent, with recommendations from the Technology Advisory Committee.

Unacceptable Behavior

The Pittsfield Public School District declares unethical and unacceptable behavior just cause for taking disciplinary action, revoking networking privileges, and/or initiating legal action for any activity through which an individual:

  • Uses the network for illegal, inappropriate, or obscene purposes, or in support of such activities. Illegal activities shall be defined as a violation of local, state, and/or federal laws. Inappropriate use shall be defined as a violation of the intended use of the network, and/or purpose and goal. Obscene activities shall be defined as a violation of generally accepted social standards for use of a publicly owned and operated communication vehicle;
  • Uses the network for any illegal activity, including violation of copyrights or other contracts violating such matters as institutional or third party copyright, license agreements and other contracts;
  • Intentionally disrupts network traffic or crashes the network and connected systems;
  • Degrades or disrupts equipment or system performance;
  • Uses District computing resources for commercial or financial gain or fraud;
  • Steals data, equipment, or intellectual property;
  • Gains unauthorized access of others’ files, or vandalizes the data of another user;
  • Gains or seeks to gain unauthorized access to resources or entities;
  • Forges electronic mail messages, or uses an account owned by another user;
  • Wastefully uses finite resources;
  • Invades the privacy of individuals;
  • Harasses or bullies another user using the communication capabilities of computers, the Internet, and/or other digital communication devices including but not be limited to e-mail messages, instant messaging, text messaging, Internet blogs, Internet chat rooms, Internet postings, and defamatory websites;
  • Possesses any data which might be considered a violation of these rules in paper, magnetic (disk), or any other form.
Consequences of violations are included but not limited to:
  • Suspension of Internet access;
  • Revocation of Internet access;
  • Suspension of Network privileges;
  • Revocation of Network privileges;
  • Suspension of computer access;
  • Revocation of computer access;
  • School suspension;
  • School expulsion;
  • Financial responsibility for replacing intentionally damaged software or hardware;
  • Legal action and prosecution by the authorities.
Remedies and Recourses

Users accused of any of the violations shall have the benefit of due process. The Network Manager or building principal has the right to restrict or terminate network and Internet access at any time for any reason. The Network Manager further has the right to monitor network activity in any form that he or she sees fit to maintain the integrity of the network.

The Pittsfield Public School District believes that the benefits to educators and students from access to the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration, far exceed any disadvantages of access. But ultimately, the parent(s) and guardian(s) of minors are responsible for setting and conveying the standards that their student should follow. To that end, the Pittsfield Public Schools support and respect each family’s right to decide whether or not to apply for District network access.

Any questions should be directed to the Assistant Superintendent of Career/Vocational Technical Education, the Network Manager, or the building principal.

Disclaimers

The Pittsfield Public Schools makes no express or implied warranties for the computer, network, or Internet access it provides. The Pittsfield Public Schools cannot completely eliminate access to information that is offensive or illegal and resides on networks outside of the Pittsfield Public Schools’ system. The accuracy or quality of information obtained cannot be guaranteed. The Pittsfield Public Schools will not guarantee the availability of access to individual computers, the district network or the Internet and will not be responsible for any information that may be lost, damaged, or unavailable due to technical or other difficulties.

Users must understand that access to the District network is being developed to support the school’s educational responsibilities and mission. The specific conditions and services being offered will change from time to time. In addition, the District assumes no responsibilities for:

  • The content of any advice or information received by a user from a source outside the District, or any costs or charges incurred as a result of seeing or accepting such advice;
  • Any costs, liability or damages caused by the way the user chooses to use his/her District network access;
  • Any consequences of service interruptions or changes, even if these disruptions arise from circumstances under the control of the District.
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