What should the Consequences for Violations of Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) be in Schools?

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It is important that students are informed about the consequences of violating acceptable use policies.The issue of Acceptable Use Policies violations is a challenge about which more discussion ‘is desperately needed’ among school leaders.

Addressing the critical issue of aligning student behaviors in the ‘virtual’ world with ‘real’ world consequences is imperative. It is recommended that a general, yet clear, summary is sought of what is considered ‘reasonable’ for various types of violations.

A commenter stated:

“In our district, even attempting to bypass the web filter can result in a 3-5 day suspension and loss of internet privileges for a period up to the end of the school year. Placing a keylogger on any district system will result in a recommendation for expulsion and a referral to police services for possible prosecution. It is imperative that students are clear that such actions have serious consequences… These steps have resulted in a marked decrease in such violations.”

Involving Law Enforcement

An AUP should also inform students that if they engage in illegal activities while using the district’s equipment or network, law enforcement agencies will be contacted and the incident turned over to authorities.

The consequences for staff are different than those for students and there is a definite need to include the teachers’ union leadership in the consequence development process. Unlike consequences for violation of student AUPs, it will often not be enough to simply suspend a staff member’s “privilege” to use the electronic network.

An AUP should clearly inform staff that illegal activities involving the district’s equipment or network will be turned over to law enforcement agencies and the evidence indicating anyone trying to assist a staff member in destroying or hiding evidence will be turned over to the investigating agency as well.

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Discuss Here: What are some consequences of Acceptable Use Policies violations in your school?

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