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Cyber bullying to be included in training for county students

Awareness of cyber bullying will be included in a new training session for Washington County students on proper social networking behavior.
During a meeting last month, Board of Education members waived the first reading and unanimously passed on second reading an updated Internet Acceptable Use Policy for students and teachers.
The Acceptable Use Policy is a component of the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act passed by Congress in 2001 to address concerns about access to offensive content over the Internet on school and library computers.
CIPA imposes certain requirements for schools and libraries that receive funding for Internet access or internal connections from the E-rate program, which was designed to make communications technology more affordable.
To be eligible for E-rate discounts, the Washington County School System must certify it has an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures.
According to CIPA requirements, the policy must address several issues, including access by minors to inappropriate matter on the Internet; the safety and security of minors when using email, chat rooms and other forms of electronic communications; unauthorized access, including “hacking,” and other unlawful activities by minors online; unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and measures restricting minors’ access to materials deemed harmful to them.
An addition to the policy, which hadto be adopted by July 1, will provide training for interacting with others on the Internet.
The new section of the policy states: “Each school principal or designee will provide appropriate training for students who use Internet accessible technology within the school system. Internet safety, appropriate online and social networking behavior, and cyber bullying awareness training will be provided to students. Students will acknowledge the receipt, understanding and following of provisions of the district’s Internet Acceptable Use Policy.”
Director of Technology Curtis Fullbright said the school system has a total of 4,500 Internet-connected computers in its K-12 classrooms, labs and libraries. Internet use is monitored through the technology office.
“We use a filter through the Internet service provider that will block sites, and a second filter from the district picks up anything (the first one) missed,” he said.
According to Fullbright, the system has a 2-to-1 ratio of students-to-computer. “We try to give them the technology they need,” he said.
Plans are under way for the Internet training sessions that will begin with the new school year.