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School ICT Policies Thread, Malicious Websites in School Administration; Ah, but what you have just described is the school doing something - the school should do as much as ...
  1. #16

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    Ah, but what you have just described is the school doing something - the school should do as much as it can to help find the culprit.

    For example, a bit of pressure usually reveals the person (say by blocking internet access to all sites except those used by staff) - the kids will soon let slip who it is.

    It isn't against anyone's human rights to do this, as providing internet access is not a human right.

  2. #17

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    No. You can't do that. Your abusing your pupils rights. If you want to lean on anyone, lean on the parents. They are the only people in a position to tell the pupils what to do out of school hours.

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    Re: Malicious Websites

    I recently had a problem with an ex student who had made up a bebo page about a teacher, now while there wass nothing malicious about the staff member, she wasn't happy about it being there. So I clicked the link to contact Bebo, told them what had happened and within two days they hd removed the link.
    I also regularly search bebo with our school name (luckily it only brings up about 10 pages) look around the usual suspects, and if there are any of teachers, or videos of kids in class when they should be working, it goes to head of year. Recently had a student post some pictures that were taken in class, some of them were innappropriate, letter home to parents and problem sorted. I realise though its not always as easy as this for some schools

  4. #19

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    No. You can't do that. Your abusing your pupils rights. If you want to lean on anyone, lean on the parents. They are the only people in a position to tell the pupils what to do out of school hours.
    What rights are being abused? They don't have a right to internet access... It is a luxury item provided as an aid to teaching.

  5. #20

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    What rights are being abused?
    Freedom of Expression.

    They don't have a right to internet access... It is a luxury item provided as an aid to teaching.
    And if the material is posted at home on their own PC in their own time?

  6. #21

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    What rights are being abused?
    Freedom of Expression.
    Sorry but having access to a the internet or not is not a freedom of expression issue and I don't see how it could be, with it being a luxury specifically provided for the use as an educational tool. Restricting it specifically for educational use would not be infringing anything, it would be removing a privilege, not a right.

    They don't have a right to internet access... It is a luxury item provided as an aid to teaching.
    And if the material is posted at home on their own PC in their own time?
    If it still relates to a member of staff in the school then it is relevant to the school and should be followed up to the best of the school's ability - including putting pressure on the kids in school.

  7. #22

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    Sorry but having access to a the internet or not is not a freedom of expression issue and I don't see how it could be, with it being a luxury specifically provided for the use as an educational tool. Restricting it specifically for educational use would not be infringing anything, it would be removing a privilege, not a right.
    In school, you are correct. But that was not the context I was talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk
    They don't have a right to internet access... It is a luxury item provided as an aid to teaching.
    And if the material is posted at home on their own PC in their own time?
    If it still relates to a member of staff in the school then it is relevant to the school and should be followed up to the best of the school's ability - including putting pressure on the kids in school.
    No, you can't do that. You're trampling all over your pupils Human Rights. What you can do is (in order of severity):

    A) Work with the parents (who are in a position to 'deal' with the pupils out of school.)
    B) Work with the teacher involved (who can bring civil action against the pupils and/or their parents).
    C) Work with the Police (who can bring criminal charges and/or a eventual prosecution).

    Fine if you don't want to follow my advice (after all IANAL) but history suggests it'll end in tears. For example ACLU v. Ashcroft (dealing with a situation much more severe than this, but was ultimately trumped by the US 1st amendment). Here's further reading on the case if your interested:

    http://www.epic.org/free_speech/copa/
    http://www.aclu.org/freespeech/inter...reespeech.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_O...Protection_Act

  8. #23

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    That is the USA, with a completely different legal system to the UK. It is not infringing on rights - you have still not shown what rights would be infringed by restricting a luxury which is there for education.

  9. #24

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    Re: Malicious Websites

    That is the USA, with a completely different legal system to the UK.
    1st amendment rights in the USA are analogous to Article 7 of the Human Rights Act.

    The original US 1st Amendment is as follows:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    The EU Human Rights Act Article Ten is as follows:
    Everyone has the right of freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without inference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
    So actually, the EU version is broader than the US one due to the use of 'expression' rather than 'speech'. Now, I'm not blaming anyone for not being familiar with these laws. We've only had them for ten years or so and their full effect has not been realised.

    It is not infringing on rights - you have still not shown what rights would be infringed by restricting a luxury which is there for education.
    Clearly I'm not explaining myself very well.

    I agree with you that in school grounds or during school hours or when using school equipment then the school has the unquestionable ability to revoke pupils ability to use computers, the internet, email, the bathroom, chairs, shoelaces, left handed doors or whatever else the school feels is appropriate punishment. The ultimate punishment being exclusion/expulsion from school.

    However off school grounds, out of school hours, or when not using school equipment none of these measures can be applied. Indeed, the school has no authority to do so. It's not a police force and shouldn't try to be one.

    For example, you cannot say "Anyone who uses MySpace, Facebook or BeBo in school or at home will be suspended". You can't do this because Article 10 doesn't allow it. The school is most definitely a public body and Article 10 makes no exceptions for different mediums of expression. In fact it specifically says that there is no limit to the type of medium that can be used to 'express' ideas. Unless you need a license to use it. Last time I checked, you didn't need a government license to surf the net or post a blog (maybe next year eh?).

  10. #25
    alonebfg's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    I argree here and this is why unions have a very good legal system. If it is slander or abusive towards a member of staff the child/childs parents can be taken to court. As free speech is one of them things that can be good in one way but bad in another way. This is a very good website to use have a lok i have posted the factsheet on the law in dussion. http://www.internetrights.org.uk/bri...rev1-draft.pdf This is the bit of intrest
    Defamation can be published in two forms:
    1.Verbal transmission is classed as slander - and because only the spoken word is involved, slander can often be difficult to prove;
    2.Written transmission is classed as libel - a case for libel is easier to bring because evidence of the defamation can be documented, and this is the usual form of action taken for defamation.

  11. #26

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    Clearly I'm not explaining myself very well.

    I agree with you that in school grounds or during school hours or when using school equipment then the school has the unquestionable ability to revoke pupils ability to use computers, the internet, email, the bathroom, chairs, shoelaces, left handed doors or whatever else the school feels is appropriate punishment. The ultimate punishment being exclusion/expulsion from school.

    However off school grounds, out of school hours, or when not using school equipment none of these measures can be applied. Indeed, the school has no authority to do so. It's not a police force and shouldn't try to be one.

    For example, you cannot say "Anyone who uses MySpace, Facebook or BeBo in school or at home will be suspended". You can't do this because Article 10 doesn't allow it. The school is most definitely a public body and Article 10 makes no exceptions for different mediums of expression. In fact it specifically says that there is no limit to the type of medium that can be used to 'express' ideas. Unless you need a license to use it. Last time I checked, you didn't need a government license to surf the net or post a blog (maybe next year eh?).
    The point is, you still haven't told me which right would actually be infringed by removing a luxury for activity outside school. There is no right to internet access, it is not a necessity for schools to provide it.

    If kids can't be trusted to use the internet well, inside or outside school then it is completely within the school's rights to restrict access in school in order to minimise the future possibility of kids causing problems via the network. I just can't see any rights being infringed here.

  12. #27
    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    Back to the OP.

    You can create an account with bebo and complain about an entry on a page. As long as you explain the circumstances. We have done this in the past with bebo, myspace and youtube.

    We hold the view that if the entry brings the schools name into disrepute, offends a member of staff or student then the site is contacted to have it removed. If known, the student is punished and the parents shown the material and corrective measures discussed.

    It is clearly stated in our AUP 'Do not bring the School, or members of the school community into disrespect by publishing material on the Internet which is then available for public viewing.'

    This makes it a cut and shut case in most incidents, ie no Human rights issues, no get out of jail free card and not a leg to stand on.

    This is backed up by both parents and the LEA.

    Most sites like bebo are very helpful and will do as requested if given sufficient reason. Just word your complaint carefully and in a professional manner.

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    Re: Malicious Websites

    If a teacher had written a site about a pupil called something like "We Hate Little Jimmy" then I imagine there would be quite an uproar. Why should it be any different the other way around?

    We have found one of the pupils who created one of the sites, and the police are going to prosecute them. It does not infringe on the child's rights to freedom of speech since what they are writing is considered libel.

    It appears that a child is perfectly within their rights to write "I hate Mr. Sqdge because he is always telling me off" and publish it on the web. However, if they write "Mr. Sqdge likes to suck eggs whilst doing a little dance" then that is considered libel, and thus the child has crossed the legal/illegal boundary, regardless of whether the item was written in school (which it wasn't), written at home, or written at a friend's house.

    I don't think the kids necessarily realise that publishing a comment on the web is no different to having something published in a book. It is in the public domain, and so it is governed by the same laws.

  14. #29

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    The point is, you still haven't told me which right would actually be infringed by removing a luxury for activity outside school. There is no right to internet access, it is not a necessity for schools to provide it.

    If kids can't be trusted to use the internet well, inside or outside school then it is completely within the school's rights to restrict access in school in order to minimise the future possibility of kids causing problems via the network. I just can't see any rights being infringed here.
    Everyone has a right to freedom of expression. The Human rights act does not make any distinction based on the medium where this expression is made.

    In school, I agree, pupils access to the Internet is not a right. Out of school, it's up to the parents NOT the school. Your jurisdiction over the pupils begins and ends at the school gates and when the school bell rings.

    Once the material is up. Then it depends what it depicts and when it was posted. The school has to prove that either:
    • The incident described or depicted occurred on school grounds
    • or in school hours.
    • The material was posted using school equipment.

    If you can't prove this, you have no grounds to try and remove the information or punish any pupils involved.

    It is clearly stated in our AUP 'Do not bring the School, or members of the school community into disrespect by publishing material on the Internet which is then available for public viewing.'

    This makes it a cut and shut case in most incidents, ie no Human rights issues, no get out of jail free card and not a leg to stand on.

    This is backed up by both parents and the LEA.
    Not quite, you have to be aware that out of school hours/grounds this basically boils down to asking the parents with some scary language not to let their kids do anything silly on the Internet. You cannot sign your basic rights away in a contract.

    Most sites like bebo are very helpful and will do as requested if given sufficient reason. Just word your complaint carefully and in a professional manner.
    That's great, now what about P2P?

  15. #30
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    Re: Malicious Websites

    Why not have an assembly mention IP address and how you can trace then back to a precise location and time. If you mention the police as well you might be able to scare the children into taken the content down even if you don’t plan on following that path.




    “There is no right to internet access, it is not a necessity for schools to provide it.”
    Its not a luxury any more it’s a must have item that we cannot take away. Every child is meant to have online storage space by 2008 or something like that. Every child should be using the Internet at some point in IT lessons and taught about it. In Nottinghamshire every child has to have internet access and should already have online work space for pupils and teachers. Perhaps not 24/7 acess but its got to be there. We all have to have EMBC broadband and should have access to the online learning network here.



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