The following letter was mailed on Februrary 3, 2006:
Dear Superintendents and Technology Directors,
Media reports over the last several days have exposed serious child safety considerations related to students sharing personal information about themselves through a website called “MySpace.com”. We are writing to remind you of the Commission for Education Technology’s policy related to web filtering on the Connecticut Education Network so that you can continue to make appropriate local decisions related to these risks.
At the State level, the Commission for Educational Technology, which is the statutory policy body for the CEN has determined that the State “… is responsible for providing a content screening mechanism that can be configured to permit individual locations to limit traffic or usage based on local preference.” Therefore, the CEN provides the tools for internet filtering in each district, but does not make decisions about or implement appropriate settings for individual schools or districts. CEN has provided a centralized N2H2 web filtering system with delegated administration which ALLOWS INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO USE A WEB SITE TO SET ITS OWN FILTERING LEVELS. In most districts, technology staff manages the account that sets filtering levels. To be clear, the CEN staff does NOT set filtering levels and is NOT directly aware of what choices districts have made in setting their own preferences. In some instances, districts informed the CEN that they would be using an entirely local filtering system and would like to bypass the State’s system.
We would STRONGLY encourage you to examine local policies, filtering settings and other technical issues that can help mitigate this and other risks to student safety through the Internet.
If you or your staff have questions about capabilities with the CEN filter or if you wish to know if your district has chosen not to use the State’s system, you can reach the CEN Helpdesk at 860-622-2300 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Dr. Betty J. Sternberg
Commissioner of Education
Robert P. Vietzke, Program Director
Connecticut Education Network