2017 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 1 - State Administration
Part 2 - Department of Education
§ 49-1-221. Policy on use of Internet -- Filing of policy -- Contents.
- (a) (1) Every two (2) years, each director of schools shall file with the commissioner of education an acceptable use policy, approved by the local school board, for the international network of computer systems commonly known as the Internet. At a minimum, the policy shall contain provisions that:
- (A) Are designed to prohibit certain inappropriate use by school district employees and students of the school district's computers via the Internet;
- (B) Seek to prevent access by students to material that the school district deems to be harmful to juveniles;
- (C) Select a technology for the school district's computers having Internet access to filter or block Internet access through the computers to child pornography and obscenity;
- (D) Establish appropriate measures to be taken against persons who violate the policy;
- (E) Include a component on Internet safety for students that is integrated in a school district's instructional program; and
- (F) Encourage communications with parents that raise awareness about Internet safety using existing avenues of communication, such as parent-teacher conferences.
- (2) The policy may include such other terms, conditions and requirements as deemed appropriate, such as requiring written parental authorization for Internet use by juveniles or differentiating acceptable uses among elementary, middle and high school students.
- (b) The director of schools shall take such steps as appropriate to implement and enforce the school district's policy.
- (c) On or before December 1, 2008, and biennially thereafter, the commissioner of education shall submit a report to the chair of the education committee of the senate and the chair of the instruction and programs committee of the house of representatives that summarizes the acceptable use policies filed with the commissioner pursuant to this section and the status of those policies. In lieu of submitting the biennial report to the chair of the education committee of the senate and the chair of the instruction and programs committee of the house of representatives, the commissioner is authorized to post the report on the department's web site and give notice of the posting via email to the chairs.
- (d) In addition to the requirements of subsections (a)-(c) regarding public school Internet use policies, the principal or other chief administrator of all category 1-3 nonpublic schools approved by the department of education shall select a technology for such school's computers having Internet access to filter or block Internet access through the computers to child pornography.
- (e) The commissioner of education shall issue guidelines to school districts regarding instructional programs related to Internet safety. Within forty-five (45) days of July 1, 2008, the commissioner shall issue a memorandum advising school districts of this section and encourage cooperation with local law enforcement agencies in its implementation.
- (f) The attorney general and reporter shall work with the department of education to assist local school districts in developing their own methods for teaching Internet safety to elementary and secondary students, as well as parents, that are within the guidelines established by the department of education.
- (g) The attorney general and reporter shall also work with the department of education to establish best practices for teaching Internet safety and make those best practices and other resources, including sample curricula on Internet safety, available to public and private schools throughout the state.
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