Natchez-Adams pleased with new Internet policy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Linda Grafton sees the Natchez-Adams School District’s new Internet policy as a good thing.

&uot;We’re very excited to get to the place were we need an (Internet policy),&uot; said the district’s technology coordinator.

During last week’s regular school board meeting, board members adopted a policy that requires students to have signed permission slips from their parents to use the Internet.

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Students are also prohibited from accessing Web sites that display pornographic or violent material, promote illegal activity or contain &uot;hate group&uot; information.

They will also not be permitted to use profanity or visit chat rooms.

Grafton said she thinks the policy is necessary since most classrooms are now wired for the Internet.

&uot;It’s real important because there’s information on the Internet that may not be factual,&uot; she said. &uot;There’s nothing to govern the Internet.&uot;

And because of pornography and other &uot;objectionable sites&uot; &uot;it should be a parent’s final choice,&uot;&160;Grafton said.

&uot;We really want to give parents (the chance) to be able to say ‘yes I want my child to be able to use this valuable resource,’&uot; Grafton said.

Grafton has not heard any complaints from parents about Internet use and she did not know of any student infractions, but she said students will be disciplined depending on the offense. Not to be left out, school employees will also sign forms stating that they will not download information from objectionable sites.

&uot;We’re expecting them to (act) as responsible adults,&uot; Grafton said.

In the past year, the district cited two employees for misuse of the Internet, said Superintendent Dr. Carl Davis.

One of the employees was getting ready to leave the district at the time and the other was suspended for a few days without pay, Davis said.

In addition to the Internet policy, the school district is also updating all of its policies, some of which are as old as 1988.

The school board has hired a consultant to examine the policies with personnel and financial policies being some of the biggest concerns. Davis said.

&uot;This is an opportunity for us to look at all of (our policies) and bring them up to the 21st century,&uot; Davis said. &uot;No district is better than the policies they have.&uot;

Davis said he would like the board look a three policy sections a month and finalize the entire policy manual by June or July.

The school board tentatively approved the first three sections of the school board’s policy manual last week.