Computer and Internet Acceptable Use Procedures

Regulation # 4847

The following procedures shall apply to all District staff and student users of District computer resources.  The term “computer resources” shall include all hardware or physical devices, which are utilized for the purposes of computing and information management and shall include access to all District provided computer networks, including internet access.  The procedures set forth herein describe the responsibilities and obligations for all users of District computer resources, including access from personal computers utilizing District provided accounts and networks.


All users of District computer resources shall comply with all legal restrictions regarding plagiarism and the use and citation of information resources.  Users shall not read, modify, or remove files from any District computer resources without the express written permission of the Director of Technology.  It is further against District policy for staff or students to copy or reproduce any licensed software on District computer resources, except as expressly permitted herein.  Any such use of software by a student or employee is expressly without the consent of the St. Louis Public Schools.


Use of District Licensed Software


District software is licensed for use only by the District and will usually contain license restrictions regarding the use or copying of the software.  All District staff and students are required to understand and comply with all licensure restrictions regarding use of software.  All copying, borrowing, loading, or modification of District licensed software onto personal or privately owned computers is strictly prohibited, unless authorized by the specific terms of the software license agreement. 


Use of Non-District Software


The use, copying, or loading of non-District licensed or personal software by students or staff is strictly prohibited, unless approved in writing by the District Director of Technology, and then only when the Director of Technology can confirm that the software is properly licensed for use at/by the District consistent with the overall educational mission of the District.  The unauthorized use of and/or copying of software is illegal and shall result in discipline up to, and including termination or suspension/expulsion.


Prohibited Uses 


District computer resources shall not be used for the following purposes:


·         Personal/Commercial Use:  Use of District computer resources or any information contained therein for personal or private gain, personal business (including personal email accounts, streaming media, and/or downloading of audio/video files), or commercial advantage is strictly prohibited. 


·         Political Use:  Use of District computer resources for political purposes in violation of local, state, or federal law is strictly prohibited.  The prohibition includes the use of District computer resources to assist or to advocate, directly or indirectly, for or against a ballot proposition and/or the election of any person to any public office.  The use of District computer resources for the expression of personal political opinions to elected officials is prohibited.  Only staff and other person authorized by the Superintendent and/or the Board of Education may express the District’s position on pending legislation or other policy matter through use of District computer resources.


·         Illegal or Indecent Use:  Use of District computer resources for illegal, harassing, vandalizing, inappropriate, or indecent purposes ( including accessing, storing, or viewing pornographic, indecent, or otherwise inappropriate material), or in support of such activities is prohibited.  Illegal activities include any violation of local, state, or federal laws (copyright infringement, publishing defamatory information, or committing fraud).  Harassment includes slurs, comments, jokes, innuendoes, unwelcome compliments, cartoons, pranks, or verbal conduct relating to an individual that (1) have the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment; (2) have the purpose and effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or a student’s school performance, or (3) interfere with school operations.  Vandalism is any attempt to harm or destroy the operating system, application software, date, or any other purposeful action that adversely impacts the District’s computer resources.  Inappropriate use includes any violation of the purpose and goal of the network.  Indecent activities include violations of generally accepted social standards for use of publicly-owned and operated equipment.


·         Use of Computer Resources by Persons Other than Employees or Students:  District computer resources may only be used by District staff and students, and others expressly authorized in writing by the District to use the equipment. 


·         Access/Distribution of Confidential Information:  Use of District computer resources to access or distribute confidential student or employee information by or to unauthorized parties violates state and federal law and is strictly prohibited. 


·         Disruptive Use:  District computer resources shall not be used to interfere or disrupt other users, services, or equipment of the District.  Examples of “disruptions” include distribution of unsolicited advertising (spam), propagation of computer viruses, distribution of large quantities of information that may overwhelm the system (chain letters, network games, or streaming video/audio), and any unauthorized access to or destruction of District computer resources accessible through the District’s computer network.  Users of District computer resources shall not illicitly access, tamper with, or experiment with the information systems of the District or those outside of the District. 




Access to, and use of District computer resources is a privilege and NOT A RIGHT therefore, students and employees have NO EXPECTATION of privacy regarding anything created, sent, or received utilizing District computer resources and/or District provided accounts. 


As required by federal law, the District utilizes technology protection measures (filtering/blocking devices) on all District computers with access to the Internet to monitor the Internet activities of all students and employees.  The current technology protection measure employed by the District to protect against access to visual depictions that are obscene, harmful to minors, and/or child pornography is provided by WebSense, Inc.  The District’s Director of Technology may disable the technology protection measures solely for the purpose of conducting bona fide research by an adult, or in the course of investigating cases of suspected improper use of the District’s computer resources.  Any unauthorized attempt to evade, disable, or override the technology protection devices employed by the District shall result in discipline up to, and including, termination or suspension/expulsion. 


The District’s computer resources, and all accounts, files and data are the property of the St. Louis City Public Schools.  All student and employee use of District computer resources is subject to investigation and monitoring.  The District reserves the right to conduct random searches of all accounts, files and data stored on or acquired through use of the District’s computer resources.  The District reserves the right to view, edit, and or remove any stored material on the District’s computer resources, and all legally obtained content stored on/in any District owned computer resources shall be the property of the St. Louis City Public Schools. 


In addition, all minor students will be instructed on safety and security issues, including instruction on the dangers of sharing personal information about themselves or others when using e-mails, social media, chat rooms or other forms of direct electronic communication.  Instruction will also address cyberbullying awareness and response and appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms.


Care of District Property


All users of District computer resources are responsible for the proper care and operation of District computer resources.  Users must comply with all restrictions regarding the use of, and all instructions regarding the maintenance of the District’s computer resources.  Users of District computer resources shall be held responsible for any intentional or negligent acts that result in any damage to the District’s computer resources, or for any financial liability incurred by the St. Louis City Public Schools due to an employee or student’s unauthorized use of District computer resources. 


The District shall assume responsibility for the routine care and maintenance of District computer resources.  The District does not warrant that the functions of the District’s computer resources will meet any specific requirements or that it will be error-free; nor shall it be liable for any damages sustained by any user in connection with the use, operation, or inability to use any computer resources. 





The above-described policy and regulation is applicable to all users of District computer resources, and refers to all computer/information resources whether individually controlled, shared, stand alone, or networked. Employees or students violating the above-described policy and regulation shall be subject to disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the published disciplinary policies and procedures of the District.  Punishment for violation of this policy and accompanying regulation may range from a written reprimand, suspension/removal of computer resource privileges to termination from employment or suspension/expulsion of the student from school.  In addition, violation of this policy and regulation may result in civil and/or criminal penalties.  Notwithstanding the prohibitions set forth above, the District reserves the right to determine what constitutes inappropriate use and may deny, revoke, suspend, or close any employee or student account at any time based upon a determination by the administration of inappropriate use.  Employees and/or students who inadvertently access inappropriate information must immediately notify their direct supervisor or teacher. 


INAPPROPRIATE EMAILS (e.g., Indecent and/or Crude)


1st Inappropriate Email

Written Reprimand / Final Warning and Suspension Without Pay up to two (2) weeks

2nd  Inappropriate Email

Termination proceedings will be initiated against the employee.




1st Pornographic Email

Termination proceedings will be initiated against the employee.





Regulation Adopted: 11/19/2009


Cross Refs: AC, Prohibition against Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation (Policy #2471)

GBCC, Staff Cell Phone Use

GBH, Staff/Student Relations

IGDB, Student Publications

IGDBA, Distribution of Noncurricular Student Publications

JFCF, Hazing and Bullying (Policy #5131.9)

JG-R, Student Discipline

JO, Student Records

KB, Public Information Program


MSIP Refs: 6.4, 6.8


Legal Refs: §§ 170.051, 182.827, 431.055, 537.525, 542.402, 569.095 - .099, 610.010 - .028,


Chapter 109, RSMo.

Chapter 573, RSMo.

Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510 - 2520

Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701 - 2711

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. §§ 6301 - 7941

Children’s Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 254(h)

47 C.F.R. § 54.520

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34

City of Ontario v. Quon, 130 S. Ct. 2619 (2010)

Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997)

Hazelwood Sch. Dist. v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988)

Bethel Sch. Dist. No. 403 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986)

Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984)

FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978)

Ginsberg v. New York, 390 U.S. 629 (1968)

Biby v. Bd. of Regents of the Univ. of Nebraska, 419 F.3d 845 (8th Cir. 2005)

Henerey v. City of St. Charles Sch. Dist., 200 F.3d 1128 (8th Cir. 1999)