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Student Internet Use

Durham Public Schools Board of Education realizes that today’s 21st Century classrooms must use technology in order to achieve the district’s academic goals for its students.  School system technological resources include, but are not limited to computers, interactive whiteboards, mobile devices, websites, networks, servers, the Internet, phones, copiers, facsimile machines, televisions and video-recorders, e-mail accounts, and licensed software.  Students are given the privilege to use the Internet along with the responsibility of using it properly.


Durham Public Schools has an Internet Acceptable Use by Students policy (Policy 3040). The DPS Student Code of Conduct establishes that students are responsible for exhibiting high standards of behavior in using the Internet and email.  Board policies establish that the ultimate responsibility for a student’s actions in using the Internet and email “rests with the student and his/her parent/guardian.”


The Pew Internet & American Life Project, Teens and Technology: Youth are leading the transition to a fully wired and mobile nation, reports that 60 percent of sixth-graders use the Internet.  That percentage grows to 82 percent by seventh grade.  Interestingly, 64 percent of parents say they have Internet rules while only 37 percent of teenagers say they have rules.  Some half of parents use Internet filters.


The Children’s Partnership, a California based group that leads an Internet safety initiative, offers some Golden Rules for Parents:

  • Keep the Internet in a public space as much as possible.  Teach your children to keep private information private and not to talk to strangers.
  • Spend “cybertime” with your child.
  • Teach Internet riles and consequences.  Never open email from strangers.  For example, there are no guarantees that what is posted online is private.  In fact, what students do online at schools is not private.
  • Limit time kids spend on the Internet.  And encourage your children to tell you if they encounter something that makes them uncomfortable.
  • Talk to your child about what he/she is doing online. Open communication about Internet use is an important ingredient in Internet safety.