Is it all right to have an "opt out" Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), where only those students and parents who do not agree to the provisions of the AUP need to have a signature on file?
The purpose of a signed Acceptable Use Policy is to ensure, as much as possible, that students and parents have read, understand, and accept the rules laid out in the AUP. An 'opt out' approach, makes some very basic assumptions that are not necessarily valid. First, it is assumed that a copy of the AUP actually made it from the classroom to the home. Second, it's assumed that the student and parent read and understood the policy, and are in agreement.
Although I am not an attorney, I don't think you can enforce a policy of this type when it has not been signed, particularly in instances where an infraction warrants serious disciplinary action. I also believe the district would be making itself vulnerable to legal action in a situation where a parent is trying to hold the district liable for an injury caused to a student through Internet use.
Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young
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