More than a Signature Required

We have Acceptable Use and Copyright Policies that students and parents sign annually. But recently when a student was discovered using a school computer to download multiple copyrighted files, she claimed ignorance of the provisions of both policies. Isn’t her signature on the form proof of notification?

If your school is like many, students and parents sign a stack of releases, permissions, and agreements at the start of each school year. It would be nice to assume that they’ve read, understood, and will remember each form, however that’s probably not realistic. Most districts have signed AUPs and Copyright policies on file, but it’s not enough.

Harris Interactive recently conducted a nationwide poll of 1100 students ages 8-18 concerning copyright issues. Only 18 percent of the students surveyed said they learned about copyright law from an educator! If we expect need to take the time to review the policies with students and then model appropriate behavior themselves.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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