Thursday, December 18, 2008

SETDA update on new CIPA requirements

SETDA has reached out to clarify some of the questions related to the new internet safety legislation (P.L. 110-385) which made changes to the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and applies to districts receiving funding for E-rate and EETT. This law only applies to schools/district receiving EETT or eRate funding. The bullet below identifies the new requirement and additional information is also available at this link:
• Schools and libraries must also certify that, as part of their Internet safety policy, they are educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including cyber bullying awareness and response and interacting with other individuals on social networking sites and in chat rooms.

As you have mentioned, the requirement is very broad and this new law was intended NOT to burden districts. The intention is to leave the decisions up to the district on how to meet the requirement. Districts can meet it in just about any way e.g., putting materials on a website, distributing fliers, having an Internet Safety handbook, etc. The only real requirement is that they have an internet safety education policy and certify that they meet it. The FCC nor USAC, the E-rate governing board, has yet to issue any kind of guidance on the policy and it seems both bodies are unlikely to do so in the near future.