Technology today has made our lives easier and information more easily accessible than ever before. At the click of a button a student can go to a virtual lab to dissect a frog or to build a strand of DNA. As students progress through life they will be required to acquire and use technological skills that many of us never dreamed of as we were growing up. For all that is good with technology there are also some dangers that we need to be aware of not only here at school but at home as well. Here in the Morgan School District we use a proxy filter to help eliminate inappropriate material from being accessed on school computers. It is extremely effective and prevents most inappropriate material from being accessed intentionally or unintentionally. It is recommended that families who are concerned about material available on the internet do some research to find a filter system that works for them and their circumstances. There are numerous programs available that can be found by a simple search on Google that are effective and reasonable in price. Even with the filtering system that we have in place at times inappropriate material is still accessed at school through proxy avoidance programs. These programs are designed to go around internet filtering systems so that all material on the internet can be accessed. These types of programs can be carried and installed anywhere with the use of a thumb drive. Should a student use a proxy avoidance program on any school computer for any reason they will be held accountable for violation of the internet policy that they agree to each year. Consequences will be administered in accordance with district and school policies. The reason I share this information with you is that these types of programs are constantly being installed on computers in businesses, homes and other public internet access locations. They are being installed by individuals who have a disregard for policies and rules who know they are doing something they should not be doing. I encourage you to talk with your children about appropriate use of the internet and why they should not accept a copy of these types of programs from anyone to use. Help them understand the reasons why filters have been installed in public locations so that they can avoid embarrassment of something coming up on the screen that may be inappropriate. As a new school year begins students will begin to use technology for research, homework, keeping in touch with classmates and other reasons; let us all work together to ensure that when they do, it is in a safe and secure environment.
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