Internet Ethics Unit of Instruction for Grossmont Union High School District Students



I.              Introduction

II.             The Internet

III.            The GRONET

IV.             Getting Started

V.              Who Is Watching?

VI.             School Conduct Codes

VII.            Moral and Ethical Issues

VIII.           Electronic Libraries

IX.             Using the Resources

X.              Electronic Field Trips

XI.             Expected Behavior

XII.            Legal Issues

XIII.           Board Policy

XIV.            Consent and Waiver Form

XV.             True/False Test

Grossmont Union High School District
GRONET and the Internet
Student Network Access Ethics Unit


The next five years will radically change the way your school relates to the 
world. The information super highway is becoming a reality.  From your 
school you will be able to travel all over the world to gather information.  As 
more people travel this electronic highway, maps to find information and 
rules to keep traveling safe become vital to successfully completing the 
GRONET, the Grossmont Union High School District Network, and the 
INTERNET represent powerful educational resources which will allow you to 
find information in this world-wide electronic network. You will be able to 
connect to businesses, major universities, national libraries, other schools 
and other students around the world.

Just as you learn social codes and behaviors which are acceptable at your 
school, you need to learn the correct procedures and rules for using the 
network of information services.  We demand that all students obey the 
guidelines.  If you break any of these rules, you will not be allowed to 
continue to use the system. 

  At the beginning of each school year, you and your parents have to sign the 
behavior code which means that you are aware of the school rules and the 
consequences which result if these rules are broken.  At the end of this unit, 
you and your parents will be asked to sign a similar type of statement so the 
school will know that you are aware of the proper procedures for using the 
Internet and the Gronet.  This signed statement becomes your permission slip 
to take trips on the information highway.  


The Internet is a global network made up of many smaller contributing 
networks to support the open exchange of information among many different 
kinds of institutions all over the world.  This system gives immediate access 
to information.  It's like being able to open every book in any library from 
your computer.  You can look at (and print out) articles, documents and 
pictures that you can use in your classes.  You can even get current facts about 
news, weather and sports.


The Grossmont Union High School District Network is called GRONET and 
is one of the networks that make up the Internet. Each Grossmont District 
High School is connected to GRONET and Internet in its library and other 
locations such as student computer centers.  The GRONET  makes sharing 
information and communicating with the other schools and the district 
offices possible. This network supports activities which have educational 
value for administration, teachers and students 


Before you begin to use these exciting research tools, it is important to your 
teachers, your parents and your school administrators that you understand 
the many consequences of the new computer connections that you wish to 
make on the Internet or the Gronet.  It is important that you understand that 
your use of this powerful educational tool is a privilege.  It can provide you 
with countless hours of exploration and use.  Like your drivers license 
though, its use can be taken from you for breaking the rules. 

The Internet does include some material that is not suited for students.  The 
intent of the Grossmont Union High School District is to use connections on 
the Internet only for purposes consistent with our approved curriculum.    
Also, the Gronet has limited resources, and classrooms have limited time 
available for network-supported teaching and learning activities.  So, anyone 
who uses the network illegally or improperly will lose the privilege of using 
it.  Additionally, you cannot use the GRONET for commercial or for-profit 
services. This packet of rules will detail for you what is the proper way to use 
this communications tool.

The Internet and GRONET are "public places."  You must always remember 
that you are sharing this space with many other users.  Potentially millions of 
individuals at the same time may be interacting across the network.  Your 
actions can be monitored by others on the network.  If you use a particular 
service on the network, chances are good that someone knows the 
connections that you are making, knows about the computer shareware that 
you have borrowed, and knows what you looked at while you were in the 
system.  Because these connections are granted to you as part of the larger 
scope of the curriculum, the Grossmont District reserves the right to monitor 
all traffic on the network.  We do this to make sure that the Network 
continues to function properly for all of its users.


Your school has a behavior code for all students that details appropriate 
school behavior, outlines rights, and sets expectations for students.  Because 
the Grossmont Union High School District's GRONET is used as part of a 
school activity, the school's code of conduct applies to network activities as 
well.  Therefore, the network use policy is an extension of the school's 
behavior code.  These rules apply to vandalism of computer equipment, 
unauthorized access to information,  computer piracy, hacking, and any 
tampering with hardware or software.  

These rules also apply to the electronic use of harassing and abusive or 
obscene language.  You may not use the network to annoy, harass, or  offend 
other people. 

Other types of damage and information loss to a computer system are viruses 
and worms.   If you are responsible for a computer becoming infected with 
viruses or worms, you will be held liable.

The moral and ethical issues involving the use of world-wide information 
systems deal with the appropriate access to information, the type of 
information, and the behavior of the user. The Grossmont District wants to 
provide you with a stimulating educational environment, but at the same 
time, we want to protect you from information that is not appropriate for 
students to use.  

The Governing Board wants you to use this valuable educational tool, but at 
the same time we cannot condone the use of inappropriate information on 
the Internet.  We simply acknowledge the fact that these materials exist and 
then do everything we can to actively avoid them. We cannot weed out all of 
the materials that are unacceptable for the high school student, but it should 
be clearly understood by all students that access to such material in any form 
is strictly forbidden.  The network is designed to achieve and support 
instructional goals, and any information that does not support classroom 
learning is to be avoided.

Although the actual percentage of unacceptable materials is small, it can cause 
concern for students and parents if a student stumbles onto the information 
while doing legitimate research.  If you have a question or concern regarding 
any information you find, contact your teacher or computer lab operator.

Guidelines for access to information have already been established in the 
Library Bill of Rights of 1980.  These principles can be applied to the Internet.  
This document states that "attempts to restrict access to library materials 
violate the basic tenets of the Library Bill of Rights;" however, school 
librarians are required to devise collections that are "consistent with the 
philosophy, goals, and objectives of the school district." This means that 
students have the right to information, but the school has the right to restrict 
any information that does not apply to the approved curriculum. 

It is not farfetched to consider the Internet as a vast digital library.  After all, 
the electronic database and information search tools it uses are rapidly 
becoming part of school media centers and libraries, and many public libraries 
are beginning to offer some type of network access as part of their services.  

The GRONET is beginning to provide just such a connection to establish 
direct access to appropriate materials that support curricular concerns.   


It may seem that there is no limit to the resources on the Internet, but the 
GRONET has a limited capacity to handle traffic.  This means the more users 
there are on the network, the more congested the Network becomes.  If there 
are too many users at any given time, the traffic on the network grinds to a 
crawl, just like a traffic jam on a freeway.  Some users may be cut off 
altogether. Although the network may slow down, it will continue to 
function.  The following list will help avoid "gridlock."
        *Do not tie up the Network with idle activities.
        *Do not play games with others on the Network or on the Internet. 
Networks are not designed for computer games. It is NOT Nintendo. Play 
games on your own time and on your own equipment.
        *Do not download huge files from places half a globe away.  Only take 
the information you want and need. The best thing to do is get into the 
Internet, get what you need, and get out.  Remember, there are many students 
who need to use this system.


 The Internet and the GRONET offer many opportunities for "electronic field 
trips" to distant locations. The Grossmont Union High School District 
considers all connections to remote locations as field trips.  Therefore, the 
rules that apply to student conduct on field trips apply to these electronic field 
trips as well. It is important that you realize you are acting as an ambassador 
for your school.  Just as parental permission slips are required before students 
may take field trips, your parents have to give you permission for electronic 
field trips by  signing the attached waiver form.  


You are expected to use the Network to pursue intellectual activities, seek 
resources, access libraries and find international friends.  We want you to 
explore this new "space", and discover what is available there.  This resource 
is new to all of us.  So, we want you to learn new things and share that new 
found knowledge with your friends, your parents and your teachers. 

When you are using the computer network and communicating with others 
in remote or even close locations, keep the following in mind:  (1)You cannot 
see them; (2) You cannot tell how old they are or even what sex they are;  
(3)They can tell you anything,  and you cannot always be sure what they are 
telling you is true; and (4)Absolute privacy cannot be guaranteed in a network 
environment.  So, you need to think carefully about what you say and how 
you say it.

For your own safety and for the safety of others, remember to exercise caution 
when you are communicating with people in the outside world.  Do not give 
out your home phone number or your address to anyone.  They do not need 
to have that information.  If you feel there is a problem or if you feel 
uncomfortable with the information someone is giving you, tell your teacher 
or computer lab operator immediately. 

By the same token, you may not harass other users.  You don't want to run 
the risk of breaking the law by bothering other people.   If a user on the 
Network asks that you no longer send them mail or in any other way contact 
them, you are obliged to stop all contact immediately.  You may feel you have 
the right of freedom of expression, but others have the right to be free from 

A.  The Law

The state of California passed a computer crime bill in  December of 1979.    
The bill added section 502 to the Penal code making it a felony to 
intentionally access any computer system or network for  the purpose of:
        (1) devising or executing any scheme or artifice to defraud or extort or 
        (2) obtaining money, property, or services with false  or fraudulent  
intent, representations, or promises.   

It is also a felony to maliciously access, alter, delete, damage or destroy  any  
computer system,  computer  network,  computer  program,  or  data.  
Penalties include fines up to $5000 and/or imprisonment in the state prison  
for up to three years or the county jail for up to one year. Anyone committing 
acts of this kind will face police  charges,  and disciplinary action by the school.  
The person will be punished to the full extent of  the  law.    

Some  examples  of offenses are removing another user's accounts, changing 
other user's passwords, using an unauthorized account, damaging any files, 
altering the system, or using the system to make money illegally. You cannot 
cause damage to any school or District property.  This includes the network 

B.  Plagiarism 

The dictionary defines plagiarism as "taking ideas or writings from another 
person and offering them as your own." The student who leads readers to 
believe that what they are reading is the student's original work when it is 
not is guilty of plagiarism. Credit should always be given to the person who 
created the article or the idea. 

Be careful when you are using the Internet. Cutting and pasting ideas into 
your own document is very easy to do.  So, be sure that you give credit to the 
author.  That way your teacher will know which ideas are yours, and you 
won't be guilty of plagiarism.

C.  Copyright

Copyright is another issue altogether. According to the Copyright Act of 1976, 
"Fair Use" means that you may freely use any information that you legally 
find on the Internet as long as you do so only for scholarly purposes.  You 
may not plagiarize or sell what you find.

Suppose, for example, that you find a copy of Microsoft Works© on the 
Internet.  Could you legally copy it? The answer is NO.  This is copyrighted 
software.  You have to purchase software packages before you use them 
legally.  Suppose you find an article about the use of Microsoft Works© on 
the Internet.  Can you legally copy it? The answer is yes, as long as you give 
credit to the author and do not sell the article for profit.


The Grossmont Union High School District declares  unethical and 
unacceptable behavior just cause for taking disciplinary action, revoking 
networking privileges, and/or initiating legal action for any activity through 
which an individual:

*       Uses the Network for illegal, inappropriate, or obscene purposes, or in 
support of such activities.   Illegal activities shall be defined as a 
violation of local, state, and/or federal laws.  Inappropriate use shall be 
defined as a violation of the intended use of the network, and/or 
purpose and goal.   Obscene activities shall be defined as a violation of 
generally accepted social standards for use of a publicly-owned and 
operated communication vehicle;

*       Uses the Network for any illegal activity, including violation of 
copyrights or other contracts violating such matters as institutional or 
third party copyright, license agreements and other contracts;

*       Intentionally disrupts network traffic or crashes the network and 
connected systems;

*       Degrades or disrupts equipment or system performance;

*       Uses the  Grossmont Union High School District computing resources 
for commercial or financial gain or fraud;

*       Steals data, equipment, or intellectual property;

*       Gains unauthorized access of others' files, or vandalizes the data of 
another user;

*       Gains or seeks to gain unauthorized access to resources or entities;

*       Forges electronic mail messages, or uses an account owned by another 

*       Wastefully uses finite resources;

*       Invades the privacy of individuals;

*       Posts anonymous messages;  

*       Saves ANY information to public hard drives;

*       Possesses any data which might be considered a violation of these rules 
in paper, magnetic (disk), or any other form.

A.      Consequences of Violations

Consequences of violations include but are not limited to:
*       Suspension of Internet access;
*       Revocation of Internet access;
*       Suspension of Network privileges;
*       Revocation of Network privileges;
*       Suspension of computer access;
*       Revocation of computer access;
*       School suspension;
*       School expulsion; 
*       Legal action and prosecution by the authorities.

B.      Remedies and Recourses

If you are accused of any of the violations, you have all of the rights and 
privileges that you would have if you were accused of school vandalism, 
fighting and so forth.  

The District has the right to restrict or terminate Network and Internet access 
at any time for any reason.  The District further has the right to monitor 
Network activity in any form that it sees fit to maintain the integrity of the 

The Grossmont Union High School District 
GRONET and Internet Access


The following form must be read and signed by you and your parent or legal 

By signing the Consent and Waiver form attached, I _________________ 
(print name here) and my parent(s) or guardian(s) agree to abide by the 
following restrictions.   I have discussed these rights and responsibilities with 
my  parent(s) or guardian(s).

Further, my  parent(s) or guardian(s) and I have been advised that the District  
does not have control of the information on the Internet, although it 
attempts to provide prudent and available barriers. Other sites accessible via 
the Internet may contain material that is illegal, defamatory, inaccurate or 
potentially offensive to some people.   While The Grossmont Union High 
School District's intent is to make Internet access available to further its 
educational goals and objectives, account holders will have the ability to 
access other materials as well.

The District believes that the benefits to educators and students from access to 
the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for 
collaboration, far exceed any disadvantages of access.   But ultimately, the 
parent(s) and guardian(s) of minors are responsible for setting and conveying 
the standards that their student should follow.   To that end, the District 
supports and respects each family's right to decide whether or not to apply for 
Grossmont Union High School District Network access.
Any questions should be directed to Warren Williams at the District office 

The student and his/her parent(s) or guardian(s) must understand that 
student access to the Grossmont Union High School District Network  is 
being developed to support the District's educational responsibilities and 
mission.   The specific conditions and services being offered will change from 
time to time.   In addition, the Grossmont Union High School District makes 
no warranties with respect to the Grossmont Union High School District 
Network service, and it specifically assumes no responsibilities for:

A.  The content of any advice or information received by a student from a 
source outside the District, or any costs or charges incurred as a result of 
seeing or accepting such advice;

B.  Any costs, liability or damages caused by the way the student chooses to 
use his/her District Network access;

C.  Any consequences of service interruptions or changes, even if these 
disruptions arise from circumstances under the control of The District;

D.   While The Grossmont Union High School District supports the privacy of 
electronic mail, students must assume that this cannot be guaranteed.

By signing this form I agree to the following terms:

1.  My use of the Grossmont Union High School DistrictÕs Network must be 
consistent with the Grossmont Union High School District's primary goals.

2.  I will not use the Grossmont Union High School District Network for 
illegal purposes of any kind.  

3.  I will not use the Grossmont Union High School District Network to 
transmit threatening, obscene, or harassing materials.  The District will not 
be held responsible if you participate in such activities.  In fact, by 
completing this unit of instruction, you agree that the Grossmont District is 
not responsible for such behavior on your part.
4.  I will not use the Grossmont Union High School District Network to 
interfere with or disrupt network users, services or equipment.   
Disruptions include, but are not limited to, distribution of unsolicited 
advertising, propagation of computer worms and viruses, and using the 
network to make unauthorized entry to any other machine accessible via 
the network. I will print only to my local printer.
5.  It is assumed that information and resources accessible via the Grossmont 
Union High School District Network are private to the individuals and 
organizations which own or hold rights to those resources and information 
unless specifically stated otherwise by the owners or holders of rights. 
Therefore, I will not use the Grossmont Union High School District 
Network to access information or resources unless permission to do so has 
been granted by the owners or holders of rights to those resources or 

Student Name                                    Grade           
(Please Print)          
Student Signature                               Date                        
Parent/Guardian Name                            Date                               
(Please Print)