Here is a message sent by KSDE Education Technology Coordinator Melinda Stanley to the K-12 E-Rate mailing list. The topic is new provisions for compliance with CIPA, which apply to K-12 schools but not to libraries.
FCC Releases Provisions for Complying with “Protecting Children in the 21st Century” CIPA Rules
In mid-August, the FCC released its long-awaited Order to implement the CIPA (Children’s Internet Protection Act) Amendments passed by Congress in 2008. The 2008 law, entitled “Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act”, contained a provision requiring schools’ Internet Safety Policies to include “… educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyber-bullying awareness and response.” Essentially this means that schools are required to teach online safety to students as a prerequisite to receiving E-rate funding for Internet access or Priority 2 funding.
Below is an FAQ that contains details on the new FCC rules. The full Order is available at:
1) When do the requirements become effective?
– The new requirement becomes effective for E-rate Funding Year 2012 which begins July 1, 2012. This means you should have your Internet Safety Policy updated before this date and be prepared to implement your online behavior/cyber-bullying curriculum for the beginning of the 2012 school year.
2) Are schools required to hold a new public hearing to amend their Internet Safety Policy?
– No. Applicants that have existing and properly adopted (ie. Board approved) Internet Safety Policies will not be required to hold a new public hearing to amend their policies to comply with the new rules. Applicants that are new to the E-rate program and have never held a public hearing or adopted their Internet Safety Policy remain bound by the public notice and public hearing requirements.
3) What must be included in the Internet Safety Policy?
- Schools’ Internet Safety Policies must include monitoring the online activities of minors and must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms and cyberbullying awareness and response. Although the ISP must provide for the development and use of educational materials related to appropriate online behavior/cyberbullying, the policy itself does not have to include the actual materials. If the curriculum and materials are not included, they must be documented elsewhere.
4) What must be included in the online behavior/cyberbullying curriculum and with what frequency must the material be taught?
– The FCC decided it is entirely up to the local school board to decide how to implement the new online behavior/cyberbullying curriculum. Further, the Commission did not offer any formal definition of cyberbullying or social networking. In an effort to clear-up a common misconception, the FCC specifically noted that Facebook or MySpace are not required to be blocked under FCC rules.
5) How long must schools keep a copy of their Internet Safety Policy?
– Schools must retain their Internet Safety Policy documentation for at least five years after the last date of service for a particular funding year. For example, if a school held a public hearing and adopted its Internet Safety Policy in 2001 and relied on that same policy to make its Form 486 CIPA certification in FY 2011, the school must retain its Internet safety policy documentation (from 2001) for five years after the last day of service for FY 2011, which would be until June 30, 2016. If you don’t have this documentation, you should issue a new public notice, hold a new public hearing, and adopt your current Internet Safety Policy to become compliant.
6) Are schools required to send USAC or the FCC a copy of their Internet Safety Policy?
– No. But schools must provide the FCC or USAC with a copy of their Policy upon request.
7) Did the FCC clarify the filtering rules pertaining to portable devices?
– The FCC stated they intend to request public comment in a future proceeding to consider whether CIPA/filtering applies to portable devices owned by students/staff/library patron-owned (such as laptops and cellular phones) when those devices are used in a school or library to obtain E-rate-funded Internet access.
8) Do the new online behavior/cyber-bullying requirements pertain to libraries?
– No. The new rules are only applicable to schools.