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Internet and Social Media Safety Information

Dear Parents:

As you may know, the North Syracuse Central School District’s Department of Information Technology provides students access to a state-of-the-art computer network and devices for educational purposes. While this access allows students to explore thousands of libraries, databases, and educational web sites, it does not come without risk. 

As part of our efforts to teach students about internet safety, they must read and acknowledge the district’s approved computer, internet, e-mail and telephone use policy (4201) before being given access to district devices. We also maintain filtering software designed to block access to certain internet sites. While our filtering software is effective, it is not perfect. 

In the 2019-2020 school year, we are asking all North Syracuse Central School District families to assist the district and the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office in properly monitoring your child’s internet activity and social media usage.  Each year our administrators and school resource officers are forced to spend more time investigating incidents of social media misuse and cyber-bullying. Although the vast majority of posts, tweets and chats occur outside school day hours, the activity does impact the school setting and the consequences can be devastating. 

We have seen an increase in inappropriate selfies and videos of school based incidents, which have caused significant disruptions in buildings. These actions not only upset the educational process and negatively impact learning opportunities for all students, they are potentially criminal and life-changing. In many cases, the materials posted cannot be retrieved and removed and will follow these young people for life.

Due to the widespread misuse of social media by young people, the District Attorney’s Office and the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office have instituted a Cyber Diversion Program.  The district utilizes this program to educate students found in violation of the Student Code of Conduct.  Our goal, though, is to prevent incidents through education and observation. We are asking you to be partners in our effort. As parents and guardians, please help us keep your children safe online by setting parental controls and monitoring activities as needed. Thank you for your support!

Sincerely,

Daniel D. Bowles, Superintendent of Schools

Please click here to view/download a PDF version of the above letter.

Learn more about digital citizenship and internet safety by clicking here. Additional technology resources, including logging into district accounts, are available on the technology resources website by clicking here.