Lanett City Schools approves Internet Protection Act

Published 8:00 am Thursday, December 19, 2019

LANETT — The Lanett City Schools Board of Education renewed its policy Tuesday to keep children safe from inappropriate content while on the internet at school.

The U.S. Congress enacted the Children Internet Protection Act in December 2000, and it addresses concerns about internet access in schools and libraries.

Lanett City Schools Technology Director Whittany Nolen informed the board of education that any school or library that receives discounts for internet access through E-RATE, there are specific requirements. The amount of funds given to school districts through E-RATE is based on the number of free and reduced lunch students in the school district.

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Nolen said some guidelines must be in place to protect the children when they are using the internet.

School and libraries subject to the act are required to adopt policy addressing access by minors to inappropriate matter on the internet; the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications; unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking” and other unlawful activities; unauthorized disclosures, use and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and restricting minors’ access to materials harmful to them.

Nolen said the school district has three separate filters for internet access to block anything harmful to students, even though the act requires one.

“We go a little above and beyond,” she said. “We also teach students what’s appropriate online behavior to prevent them from having any information hacked or shared online that shouldn’t.”