May 17, 2022

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Your Partner in The Digital Era

‘Technology protection’ bill moves through Ga Legislature | School Information

ATLANTA — Building “safe lanes” on the world wide web freeway is complicated university officials who have to equilibrium entry to facts with university student safety.

Identifying inappropriate supplies or obscenity in instruction materials can be challenging. A single person’s pornography is one more person’s Picasso.

Condition lawmakers may make those people boundaries clearer as they debate House Bill 1217, identified as the “Student Technologies Safety Act” in the present-day legislative session.

Sponsored by Rep. Chris Erwin (R-Banks County), the bill seeks to add solutions to encourage “the appropriate use of technological know-how and dependable digital citizenship” to the present-day necessities for college student training.

The invoice very easily handed the Residence in late February on a 131-26 vote and will now be regarded as by the Senate.


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Officers with the Fulton County Faculty Process say they welcome laws which strengthens scholar protection, but they feel the district is by now nicely forward of quite a few college techniques on this difficulty.

“[The Fulton County School System] is fully commited to building absolutely sure our pupils have obtain to suitable materials,” reported Superintendent Mike Looney. “And comprehending there is a big difference involving what is obscene and what people just will not like.”

Limitations in spot

In Fulton County schools, accessibility to obscene or inappropriate resources is mitigated by technologies guard rails. The district also adopted a parents monthly bill of legal rights which makes it possible for dad and mom to decide their pupil out of certain curriculum or resources.

“We have a ton of procedures previously in area,” stated Communications Director Brian Noyes. “So we have to glance at [what requirements] are in this bill, how many we previously meet up with and which kinds we want to appear into.”

Accessibility to know-how is significant in the classroom. Considering the fact that 1996, Fulton County Schools has focused far more than $3 billion from the 1-cent Specific Reason Location Selection Income Tax into engineering initiatives – program and components.


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Erwin’s bill focuses generally on web basic safety in community educational facilities by incorporating or updating definitions for little one pornography, obscene material and technological know-how safety measures.

College Board member Katie Reeves (Alpharetta/Milton) mentioned she thinks HB 1217 is concentrated on supplying assistance and support to counties that are not as far along as Fulton Schools.

“My knowledge is that the monthly bill is largely meant for some of the rural districts that in fact do not have the resources to put into those forms of [internet] filters that are necessary,” Reeves mentioned.

Suitable use of know-how

Despite protocols in place, students are however finding uncover methods around the safeguards in universities, enabling obtain to inappropriate products and web sites, Looney said.

“They’re attempting to do the job all over our procedure,” he instructed the Fulton University Board at the February board meeting. “They circumvent our processes due to the fact they have extremely fantastic technological innovation skills…and bypass our university program safety software package.”


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Entry is generally acquired by employing property world-wide-web access although at faculty. The district is doing work on ways to assist mother and father filter their home web service to restrict accessibility to selected internet sites, how to observe a student’s unit for inappropriate information and how to place constraints on searches.

“We are likely to be doing the job about the subsequent 12 months to permit mother and father know how they can be partners in this effort and hard work,” Looney claimed. “This is a conversation that requirements to occur with our learners and mother and father to [develop] typical expectations.”

He reported the trouble is not only with private mobile phones and desktops. Even the faculty-issued units with all the stability bells and whistles have been breached.


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College students and mother and father sign agreements with regards to acceptable use ahead of remaining issued a system. Violating that agreement will outcome in the gadget taken away.

“The device issued by the university is a resource essential to understanding, but it is not a appropriate to have,” he explained. “We do not have to present it we can surely deliver substitute classes and platforms.”