Policy Code:            3225/4312


    Technological resources, including computers, other electronic devices, programs, networks and the Internet, provide opportunities to enhance instruction, appeal to different learning styles and meet the educational goals of the board.  Through the school system’s technological resources, users can observe events as they occur around the world, interact with others on a variety of subjects, and acquire access to current and in-depth information.          

    Use of technological resources should be integrated into the educational program.  Technological resources should be used in teaching the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and in meeting the educational goals of the board.  The curriculum committee should provide suggestions for using technological resources in the curriculum guides as provided in policy 3115, Curriculum and Instructional Guides.  Teachers are encouraged to further incorporate the use of technological resources into their lesson plans.      

    The superintendent shall ensure that school system computers with Internet access comply with federal requirements regarding filtering software, Internet monitoring and Internet safety policies.   The superintendent shall develop any regulations and submit any certifications necessary to meet such requirements.


    The use of school system technological resources, such as computers and other electronic devices, networks, and the Internet, is a privilege, not a right.  All students must be trained about appropriate on-line behavior.  Such training must cover topics such as cyberbullying awareness and response and appropriate interaction with others on social networking websites and in chat rooms.     

    Anyone who uses school system computers or electronic devices or who accesses the school network or the Internet at an educational site must comply with the requirements listed below.  All students and employees must receive a copy of this policy annually.  Before using school system technological resources, students and employees must sign a statement indicating that they understand and will strictly comply with these requirements.  Failure to adhere to these requirements will result in disciplinary action, including revocation of user privileges.  Willful misuses may result in disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution under applicable state and federal law.       

    1.       School system technological resources are provided for school-related purposes only.  Acceptable uses of such technological resources are limited to activities that support learning and teaching.  Use of school system technological resources for commercial gain or profit is prohibited. 

    2.       Software purchased by the school system may not be copied for personal use unless directly covered under a specific vendor licensing program.      

    3.       Students and employees must comply with all applicable board policies, administrative regulations, and school standards and rules in using technological resources.  All applicable laws, including those relating to copyrights and trademarks, confidential information, and public records, apply to technological resource use.  Any use that violates state or federal law is strictly prohibited.     

    4.       No user of technological resources, including a person sending or receiving electronic communications, may engage in creating, intentionally accessing, downloading, storing, printing or transmitting images, graphics (including still or moving pictures), sound files, text files, documents, messages or other material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, pornographic, harassing or considered to be harmful to minors.       

    5.       Users of technological resources may not send electronic communications fraudulently (i.e., by misrepresenting the identity of the sender).  

    6.       Users must respect the privacy of others.  When using e-mail, chat rooms, blogs or other forms of electronic communication, students must not reveal personally identifiable, private or confidential information, such as the home address or telephone number, of themselves or fellow students.  In addition, school employees must not disclose on the Internet or on school system websites or web pages any personally identifiable information concerning students (including names, addresses or pictures) without the written permission of a parent or guardian or an eligible student, except as otherwise permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or policy 4700, Student Records.  Users also may not forward or post personal communications without the author’s prior consent.          

    7.       Users may not intentionally or negligently damage computers, computer systems, electronic devices, and software or computer networks.  Users that intentionally or negligently damage computers or electronic devices may be responsible for the cost of repair or replacement of the device. Users may not knowingly or negligently transmit computer viruses or self-replicating messages or deliberately try to degrade or disrupt system performance.  Users must scan any downloaded files for viruses.       

    8.       Users may not create or introduce games, network communications programs or any foreign program or software onto any school system computer, electronic device or network without the express permission of the technology director or designee.       

    9.       Users are prohibited from engaging in unauthorized or unlawful activities, such as “hacking” or using the computer network to gain or attempt to gain unauthorized or unlawful access to other computers, computer systems or accounts.      

    10.    Users are prohibited from using another individual’s computer account.  Users may not read, alter, change, execute or delete files belonging to another user without the owner’s express prior permission.

    11.    If a user identifies a security problem on a technological resource, he or she must immediately notify a system administrator.  Users must not demonstrate the problem to other users.  Any user identified as a security risk will be denied access.          

    12.    Teachers shall make reasonable efforts to supervise a student’s use of the Internet during instructional time.       

    13.    Views may be expressed as representing the view of the school system or part of the school system only with prior approval by the superintendent or designee.


    The board is aware that there is information on the Internet that is not related to the educational program.  The board also is aware that the Internet may provide information and opportunities to communicate on subjects that are not suitable for school-age children and that many parents would find objectionable.  While no content filtering system is infallible, school system personnel shall take reasonable precautions to prevent students from having access to inappropriate materials, such as violence, nudity, obscenity or graphic language that does not serve a legitimate pedagogical purpose.  The superintendent shall ensure that the Internet service provider or technology personnel have installed a technology protection measure that blocks or filters Internet access to audio or visual depictions that are obscene, that are considered pornography or that are harmful to minors.  School officials may disable such filters for an adult who uses a school-owned computer for bona fide research or another lawful educational purpose. 

    School system personnel may not restrict Internet access to ideas, perspectives or viewpoints if the restriction is motivated solely by disapproval of the ideas involved.  The user is ultimately responsible for his or her activity using any technological resource.      

    A parent/guardian who does not want his/her child to have independent access to the Internet will provide written notice to the school principal. A copy of this policy appears in every student handbook.          

    C. PRIVACY               

    No right of privacy exists in the use of technological resources.  School system administrators or individuals designated by the superintendent may review files, monitor all communication, and intercept e-mail messages to maintain system integrity and to ensure compliance with board policy and applicable laws and regulations.  School system personnel shall monitor on-line activities of individuals who access the Internet via a school-owned computer.     


    The superintendent may use any means available to request the removal of personal websites that substantially disrupt the school environment or that utilize school system or individual school names, logos or trademarks without permission.               

    1. Students   

     Though school personnel generally do not monitor students’ Internet activity conducted on non-school system computers during non-school hours, when the student’s on-line behavior has a direct and immediate effect on school safety or maintaining order and discipline in the schools, the student may be disciplined in accordance with board policy (see the student behavior policies in the 4300 series).

    2. Employees               

     All employees must only use district-approved resources when communicating with students or parents about any school-related matters.  Thus, employees may not use personal websites or on-line networking profiles to post information in an attempt to communicate with students about school-related matters. The only exception to this provision is for online profiles that are approved by the Superintendent, are district-maintained, and designed to disseminate information to the general public.     

    Employees are to maintain an appropriate relationship with students at all times.  Employees are encouraged to block students from viewing personal information on employee personal websites or on-line networking profiles in order to prevent the possibility that students could view materials that are not age-appropriate.  If an employee creates and/or posts inappropriate content on a website or profile and it has a negative impact on the employee’s ability to perform his or her job as it relates to working with students, the employee will be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal.  This section applies to all employees, volunteers and student teachers working in the school system.      

    Legal References: U.S. Const. amend. I; Children’s Internet Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. 254(h)(5); Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2522; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. 1232g; 17 U.S.C. 101 et seq.; 20 U.S.C. 6777; G.S. 115C-325(e), -391             

    Cross References:  Curriculum and Instructional Guides (policy 3115), Technology in the Educational Program (policy 3220), Copyright Compliance (policy 3230/7330), Web Page Development (3227/7322), Student Behavior Policies (all policies in the 4300 series), Public Records – Retention, Release and Disposition (policy 5070/7350), Use of Equipment, Materials and Supplies (policy 6520), Network Security (policy 6524), Staff Responsibilities (policy 7300)    

    Adopted:  January 4, 1999       

    Revised:      September 8, 2003, October 3, 2005, July 7, 2009, July 13, 2011, February 22, 2012, June 30, 2015


    Students enrolled in Harnett County Schools will have access to several web-based resources that will enhance their educational experience. Examples of such resources are Google Apps (including Gmail), Edmodo (www.edmodo.com), DropBox (www.dropbox.com) and EverNote (www.evernote.com).


    Some websites require that children under 13 years of age have parental consent for membership in these sites. YOUR SIGNATURE OF THE STUDENT HANDBOOK INDICATES YOUR CONSENT FOR YOUR CHILD TO HAVE MEMBERSHIP IN THE WEBSITES THAT ARE APPROVED AND ENDORSED BY HARNETT COUNTY SCHOOLS. (The approved list can be found on the Harnett County Schools website.)  Classroom teachers may seek consent for other websites not covered under this agreement. Such consent will be sought on a case-by-case basis by the individual teacher. Each parent/guardian will be offered the opportunity to “opt out” of such resources.



    NETWORK SECURITY                                                                                                                  Policy Code:  6524

            The school system computers, networks and other technological resources support the educational and administrative functions of the school system.  Because employees and students depend on these systems to assist with teaching and learning and because sensitive and confidential information may be stored on these systems, system integrity and security is of utmost importance.


    The school system information technology systems are valuable assets that must be protected.  To this end, school technology personnel shall evaluate each information technology asset and assign protective controls that are commensurate with the established value of such assets.  Appropriate security measures must be in place to protect all information technology assets from accidental or unauthorized use, theft, modification or destruction and to prevent the unauthorized disclosure of restricted information.  Network security measures must include an information technology system disaster recovery process.  Audits of security measures must be conducted annually.                                        

    All personnel shall ensure the protection and security of information technology assets that are under their control.                                                         

    The technology director or designee shall provide employees with information to enhance awareness regarding technology security threats and to educate them about appropriate safeguards, network security and information security.                                                                                                                                                                 


    Virus detection programs and practices must be implemented throughout the school system.  The superintendent or designee is responsible for ensuring that the school system network includes current software to prevent the introduction or propagation of computer viruses.                                                                                                                


    Users should be trained as necessary to effectively use technological resources.  Such training should include information related to remote access, virus protection, NC WISE, network and information security, and other topics deemed necessary by the superintendent or technology director.  Each school should identify any staff development appropriations for technological training in their school improvement plans.  The superintendent and technology director should assist schools in coordinating staff development needs as provided in policy 1610/7800, Professional Development and Assistance.                                                        


    1.       User ID and Password                           

    All users of information technology systems must be properly identified and authenticated before being allowed to access such systems.  The combination of a unique user identification and a valid password is the minimum requirement for granting access to information technology systems.  Depending on the operating environment, information involved and exposure risks, additional or more stringent security practices may be required as determined by the superintendent or technology director.  The technology director or designee shall establish password management capabilities and procedures to ensure the security of passwords.   

    1.       NC WISE                             

    The technology director or designee shall ensure that any school system computers utilizing the NC WISE application pursuant to State Board of Education Policy EEO-C-018 adhere to requirements of the NC WISE Password and Workstation Policy, including provisions related to the user identification, password and workstation security standards.  Employees must follow such standards for all computers used to access the NC WISE system, including the employee’s personal computer.                                     

    2.       Remote Access                       

    The superintendent and technology director may grant remote access to authorized users of the school system’s computer systems.  The technology director or designee shall ensure that such access is provided through secure, authenticated and carefully managed access methods.                                                                                                                               


    Harnett County Schools may provide “guest” wireless Internet access to staff/students for personal Wi-Fi devices.  Staff members and/or students who bring personal devices within Harnett County Schools and connect to the “guest” wireless Internet access agree to the following:

    1.       Harnett County Schools will not be responsible for theft or damage to personal devices not purchased by Harnett County Schools. Users of personal devices are encouraged to contact their insurance company regarding coverage.

    2.       Users of personal devices attest that they will abide by all Harnett County Schools Board of Education policies regarding acceptable use of the device and acceptable use of the Internet.

    3.       Harnett County Schools Media & Technology Department members (Technology Facilitators, Media Coordinators, Computer Technicians, etc.) will not be responsible for maintenance of, and will not perform any troubleshooting on, personal devices.

    4.       Users of personal devices are responsible for their own document storage, management, and backups.

    5.       Users of personal devices will not introduce, or attempt to introduce, spyware, malware, viruses, or any other malicious code into the Harnett County Schools network.

    6.       Users of personal devices will be governed by the Harnett County Schools content filtering policies and will not bypass, or attempt to bypass, the HCS content filtering system by any means (including the use of proxy servers).

    7.       Users of personal devices will ensure that their devices are firewalled, patched with all security updates, and have current anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed.

    8.       Users of personal devices will ensure that their devices do not contain any content inappropriate for the educational environment.

    9.       The Harnett County Schools network may not be used for downloading entertainment software or other files not related to the mission and objectives of the board.  This prohibition pertains to freeware, shareware, copyrighted commercial and non-commercial software, and all other forms of software and files not directly related to the instructional and administrative purposes of the Harnett County Schools.

    10.    Inappropriate use of personal devices may result in permanent revocation of access to the “guest” Internet access and revocation of permission to bring a personal device on campus.

    Legal References:  G.S. 115C-523, -524      

            Cross References:  Professional Development and Assistance (policy 1610/7800), Technology in the Educational Program (policy 3220), Technology Acceptable Use (policy 3225/4312/7320), School Improvement Plan (policy 3430), Use of Equipment, Materials and Supplies (policy 6520)                                                                                                       

    Adopted:  July 9, 2009
    Revised:  July 13, 2011

     USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES                                                              Policy Code:  4318 

    The board recognizes that cellular phones have become an important tool through which people communicate with their children.  Therefore, students are permitted to possess cellular phones and other wireless communication devices on school property as long as such devices are not activated, used, displayed or visible during the instructional day or as otherwise directed by local school rules or school personnel.  Wireless communication devices include, but are not limited to, cellular phones, paging devices, two-way radios and similar devices. 

    A.                  Authorized Use

    Administrators may authorize individual students to use wireless communication devices for personal purposes when there is a reasonable need for such communication.  Teachers and administrators may authorize individual students to use the devices for instructional purposes provided that they supervise the students during such use. 

    Though generally use is permitted during non-instructional hours, use of cellular phones and other wireless communication devices may be prohibited on school buses when noise from such devices interferes with the safe operation of the buses.  In addition, elementary and middle school students who participate in after-school programs are prohibited from using wireless communication devices for the duration of such programming.

    B.    Consequences for Unauthorized Use

                    School employees may immediately confiscate any wireless communication device that is on, used, displayed or visible in violation of this policy.  Absent compelling and unusual circumstances, confiscated wireless communication devices will be returned only to the student's parent or guardian.

    Violations of this policy will result in consequences as provided in the school’s student behavior management plan (see policy 4302, School Plan for Management of Student Behavior).  Aggravating factors may subject a student to more stringent disciplinary consequences, up to and including expulsion.  Examples of such aggravating factors include, but are not limited to, using wireless communication devices: (1) to reproduce images of tests, to access unauthorized school information or to assist students in any aspect of their instructional program in a manner that violates any school board policy, administrative regulation or school rule;  (2) to take illicit photographs; and (3) to photograph, videotape, or record any individual without his or her knowledge and consent.

    C.    Liability

    Students are personally and solely responsible for the security of their wireless communication devices.  The school system is not responsible for the theft, loss or damage of a cellular phone or any other personal wireless communication device.

    Legal References:  G.S. 115C-36, -391

    Cross References:  School Plan for Management of Student Behavior (policy 4302), Disruptive Behavior (policy 4315) 

    Adopted:  July 7, 2009