Title II of the Broadband Data Improvement Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in Oct. 2008, and having a direct impact on classrooms nationwide.
What does it require? That every school district, as part of its school board Internet use policy, is mandated to “educate minors about appropriate online behavior.” The act specifically refers to educating children about social networking and chat rooms, and recognizing and addressing cyberbullying, according to Mike Donlin, an expert in digital safety and board member of the International Association of Bullying Prevention.
Among the potential consequences of non-compliance? School districts may jeopardize federal E-Rate reimbursements for purchase of telecommunications services and Internet access, funds they may have accessed in the past.
Children’s Internet Protection Act, 2000.
Also known as CIPA, and requiring that every school district with Internet access for its students must provide a filter to control that access. This act also mandates that educators monitor youth when students go online.
You may want to check out this guide for parents on Internet safety.
WHAT MUST SCHOOLS DO TO COMPLY WITH THESE LAWS?
1. Read the acts to understand mandates. Ensure both IT and prevention staff are involved.
2. Refer to a model, such as what the State of Washington has put forward.
3. Enact policies that comply —and be sure compliance is carried out at classroom level.
“… When students are emotionally harmed, they may present a danger to themselves or others. If schools fail to effectively respond to cyberbullying situations when they are at the HARMFUL SPEECH level, there is a risk that they will eventually have to respond at the SCHOOL FAILURE, SCHOOL VIOLENCE or STUDENT SUICIDE level.”
— Russel Sabela, PhD, Professor of Counseling, Florida Gulf Coast State University