APPROACH: POLICY

CYBER SAFETY & ANTI-BULLYING

CYBER SAFETY & ANTI-BULLYING POLICY

This policy is part of a series of inter related policies for the safety and wellbeing of students, parents, volunteers, visitors and any other person who come onto the school site.

Policy Review:

Due to the rapid speed of technological innovation, Internet technology and the schools use of technological resources that will continue to develop and change with time. It is our intention to review and up-date our Internet Safety Policy as when necessary:

Ratified by the Kamaruka Advisory Committee 20 August 2015
Review Date: August 2016

At Kamaruka Education Centre we believe:

All people in our community have the right, to teach and learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment, without fear of being bullied.

We believe that every individual in school has a duty to report an incident of bullying whether it happens to themselves or to others.

Students will experience a positive, safe environment in which all partners and resources are respected and valued.

At Kamaruka Education Centre, students are taught to:

Understand how to use these technologies safely and know about the risks and consequences of misusing them.

Know what to do if they or someone they know are being cyber bullied.

Report any problems with cyber bullying. If they do have a problem, they can talk to the school, parents, the police, the mobile network (for phone) or the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to do something about it.

Statement of Position:

The measures to ensure the cyber-safety of students at Kamaruka Education Centre are outlined in this document are based on our core values.
The school’s computer network, Internet access facilities, computers and other school ICT equipment / devices bring great benefits to the teaching and learning programmes at Kamaruka Education Centre and to the effective operation of the school.

Our school has rigorous cyber-safety practice and education programs in place, which include Appropriate Use agreements for all school staff and students.

We also provide up to date information to enable families to maintain their children’s safety at home. The overall goal of the school is to create and maintain a cyber-safe culture, which is in keeping with the values of the school, and legislative and professional obligations.

All students will be issued with a use agreement and internet safety rule agreement and once signed consent has been returned to school, students will be able to use the school ICT equipment / devices.
This use agreement includes information about your obligations, responsibilities, and the nature of possible consequences associated with cyber-safety and bullying breaches, which undermine the safety of the school environment.

Important terms used in this document:

‘ICT’, the abbreviation ‘ICT’ in this document refers to the term ‘Information and Communication Technologies’.

‘Cyber-safety,’ refers to the safe use of the Internet and ICT equipment / devices, including mobile phones.

‘School ICT,’ refers to the school’s computer network, Internet access facilities, computers, and other school ICT equipment/devices as outlined in below.

‘ICT equipment/devices,’ used in this document, includes but is not limited to, computers (such as desktops, laptops, PDAs), storage devices (such as USB and flash memory devices, CDs, DVDs, video tape, floppy disks, iPods, MP3 players), cameras (such as video, digital, webcams), all types of mobile phones, gaming consoles, video and audio players/receivers (such as portable CD and DVD players), and any other, similar, technologies as they come into use.

‘Objectionable’ / ‘Inappropriate material’, in this agreement means material that deals with matters such as sex, cruelty, discrimination or violence in such a manner that it is likely to be injurious to the good of students or incompatible with a school environment. This is intended to be inclusive of the definition used in the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993.

‘Cyber bullying’, is bullying which uses e-technology as a means of victimising others. It is the use of an Internet service or mobile technologies – such as email, chat room discussion groups, instant messaging, web pages or SMS (text messaging) – with the intention of harming another person.

‘E-crime’, occurs when computers or other electronic communication equipment/devices (eg Internet, mobile phones) are used to commit an offence, are targeted in an offence, or act as storage devices in an offence.

Cyber Safety

Cyber Safety encompasses technologies such as the Internet, and electronic communication devices including mobile phones and other wireless technology. With increasing sophisticated and affordable communication technologies, there is a real need for children and young people be thoroughly informed of both the benefits and risks of using these new technologies and provides safeguards and awareness for users to enable them to control their online experiences and the appropriate use of all technologies.

The Technologies included in Cyber-Safety:

ICT in the 21st Century has an all-encompassing role within the lives of children and adults. New technologies are enhancing communication and the sharing of information. The Current and emerging technologies used in school and more importantly in many cases, used outside of school by children include:

  • The Internet
     
  • email
     
  • Instant messaging (msn, aol) which often using simple web cams
     
  • Blogs (an on-line interactive diary)
     
  • Podcasting (radio / audio broadcasts downloaded to computer or MP3/4 player)
     
  • Social networking sites (myspace, piczo, bebo, hi5, facebook, twitter)
     
  • Video broadcasting sites (youtube)
     
  • Chat Rooms (teenchat, habbohotel)
     
  • Gaming Sites (neopets, miniclip, runescape, clubpenguin)
     
  • Music download sites (apple, napster, kazzaa, livewire)
     
  • Mobile phones with camera and video functionality
     
  • Mobile technology (e.g. games consoles) that are ‘internet ready’.
     
  • Smart phones now come with e-mail, web functionality and cut down ‘Office’ applications.
     
  • X-Box and Play Station (these also have the capacity of internet connection)
     
  • Other applications or technologies still to be released.
     

Good Habits:

Cyber-Safety depends on effective practice at a number of levels:

  • Responsible ICT use by all staff and students; encouraged by education and made explicit through published policies.
     
  • Sound implementation of cyber-safety policy in both administration and curriculum, including secure school network design and use.
     
  • Safe and secure broadband including the effective management of content filtering.
     
  • National Education Network standards and specifications
     

At Kamaruka Education Centre:

All reasonable and appropriate steps have been taken to protect students. The school recognises that despite employing safety procedures, in some circumstances, the Internet may give children access to undesirable information or images.

Students are regularly reminded that should they encounter inappropriate material on line they must immediately:

  • Turn off the screen.
     
  • Report immediately to the teacher or supervising adult who will record the URL and other details.
     
  • Refrain from describing or encouraging others from accessing the site either directly or through a search engine.
     

Steps We Take to Protect Children at Kamaruka Education Centre

Supervision

No filtering service is 100% effective; consequently, all students’ use of the Internet is supervised by an adult.

Planned Activities

Use of the Internet is a planned activity. Aimless surfing is not allowed. Children are taught to use the Internet in response to a need e.g. a question which has arisen from work in class.

Websites

Websites are previewed by teachers and revisited to ensure that they are suitable for children’s curriculum needs and ability levels.
Search engines are used selectively.

Email

Student use of email is supervised by an adult. While all efforts are made to ensure that messages sent and received are appropriate, it relies on the honesty and integrity of the students themselves to adhere to the ICT Code of Conduct (see Acceptable Use of Technology and The Internet Policy).

Internet Safety Rules

Students are taught to be Internet Wise. They are made aware of Internet Safety Rules and are encouraged to discuss how to cope if they come across inappropriate material.

Kamaruka Education Centre Website:

On our School Website:

  • Students are only referred to by their first names.
     
  • Any images of students will not be labelled with their name.
     
  • No close-up pictures of students will be made available on line.
     
  • Students and teachers will not reveal their personal details, home addresses or telephone numbers on the website.
     

Pupils’ photographs may be published subject to the strict safeguards listed above. If you have any concerns or objections, please contact the school to discuss them.

Safety Points for Students to Consider

  • Only use your own login username and password to access computers, Internet or any other technological equipment.
     
  • DO NOT look at, change or delete other people‟s work / files.
     
  • DO NOT change or delete any of the settings on school property.
     
  • Ask permission before entering any website, unless a teacher has already approved that site.
     
  • Only send an email that a teacher has approved and has seen. Make sure that the messages are polite and sensible.
     
  • When sending email DO NOT give your name, address or phone number or arrange to meet anyone.
     
  • DO NOT give the name, address or phone number of anyone else.
     
  • DO NOT enter Internet Chat Rooms while using school computers.
     
  • If you see anything you are unhappy with or you receive messages you do not like:
     

Turn off the screen and tell a teacher immediately.

Cyber Bullying

Cyber bullying is bullying through the use of communication technology like mobile phone text messages, e-mails or websites. This can take many forms for example: Sending threatening or abusive text messages or e-mails, personally or anonymously

Making insulting comments about someone on a website, social networking site (eg: MySpace) or online diary (blog)

Making or sharing derogatory or embarrassing videos of someone via mobile phone or e-mail (such as „Happy Slapping‟ videos)

It should be noted that the use of ICT to bully could be against the law. Abusive language or images, used to bully, harass or threaten another, whether spoken or written (through electronic means) may be libellous, may contravene the Harassment Act 1997 or the Telecommunications Act 1984 for example.

It should be noted that the use of the web, text messages, e-mail, video or audio to bully another pupil or member of staff will not be tolerated.

There are many types of cyber-bullying. Although there may be some of which we are unaware, here are some of the more common:

Text messages – that are threatening or cause discomfort – also included here is “Bluejacking” (the sending of anonymous text messages over short distances using “Bluetooth” wireless technology.

Picture/video-clips – via mobile phone cameras – images sent to others to make the victim feel threatened or embarrassed.

Mobile phone calls – silent calls or abusive messages; or stealing the victim’s phone and using it to harass others, to make them believe the victim is responsible.

Emails – threatening or bullying emails, often sent using a pseudonym or somebody else’s name.

Chat room bullying – menacing or upsetting responses to persons (children, young people or adults), when they are in web-based chat room.

Instant messaging (IM) – unpleasant messages sent while children conduct real-time conversations online using MSM (Microsoft Messenger) or Yahoo Chat; although there are others.

Bullying via websites – use of defamatory blogs (web logs),

personal websites and online personal “own web space” sites such

as Bebo (which works by signing on in one‟s school, therefore

making it easy to find a victim) and Myspace – although there are others.

Information for Parents:

At Kamaruka Education Centre, we take this form of bullying as seriously as all other types of bullying and, therefore, will deal with each situation individually.

An episode of Cyber Bullying may result in a simple verbal warning. It might result in a parental discussion.
Clearly, more serious cases will result in further sanctions.

Technology allows the user to bully anonymously or from an unknown location, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Cyber-bullying leaves no physical scars so it is, perhaps, less evident to a parent or teacher, but it is highly intrusive and the hurt it causes can be very severe.

Young people are particularly adept at adapting to new technology, an area that can seem a closed world to adults. For example, the numerous acronyms used by young people in chat rooms and in text messages (POS – ‘Parents Over Shoulder’, TUL – ‘Tell You Later’; there are many others and they change frequently) making it difficult for adults to recognise potential threats.

Incidents of known or suspected cases can be reported to the principal of the school by email alfonso@Kamaruka.vic.edu.au

Points for Parents to Consider At Home:

It is important to promote phone and Internet Safety in the home, and to monitor Internet use.

Tips to Promote Phone and Internet Safety at Home:

  • Know the “SMART” tips.
     
  • Discuss the fact that there are websites that are unsuitable.
     
  • Discuss how children should respond to unsuitable materials or requests.
     
  • Remind children never to give out personal information on the Internet.
     
  • Remind children that people on line may not be who they say they are.
     
  • Be vigilant. Ensure that children do not arrange to meet someone they meet on line.
     
  • Be aware that children may be using the Internet in places other than in their own home or at school.
     
  • Mobile Phones; be aware of the safety issues regarding mobile phones. Increasingly these now have Internet access.
     
  • Encourage children to talk about how they use mobile phones.
     
  • Remind children not to give mobile numbers to strangers and people they do not know very well.
     
  • Talk about responsible use of text messaging
     

Monitor Internet use:

  • Keep the computer in a communal area of the home.
     
  • Ask children how the computer works.
     
  • Monitor on-line time and be aware of excessive hours spent on the Internet.
     
  • Take an interest in what children are doing.
     
  • Discuss with the children what they are seeing and using on the Internet.
     
  • Advise children to take care and to use the Internet in a sensible and responsible manner.
     
  • Check internet history log. This will tell you what websites your child is frequenting.
     

Filtering for the Home Computer:

Parents may wish to invest in security software for their children’s computers. Some of this software works by monitoring all Internet activity for trigger words.

There are many types of security software available the following are only a few.
Examples include:
Net Nanny (www.netnanny.com)
Cyber Patrol (www.cyberpatrol.com)
Safe Surf (www.safesurf.com)

Or parents may wish to make use of the AOL children’s section at www.aol.com

Further Information:

More information about Internet filtering can be found on the:
Websites of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (www.acma.gov.au)
NetAlert (www.netalert.gov.au)
Kids Helpline (www.kidshelp.com.au)
Bullying No Way (www.bullyingnoway.com.au)

Information for Students:

If you are being bullied:

Remember, bullying is never your fault. It can be stopped and it can usually be traced.

Don’t ignore the bullying. Tell someone you trust, such as a teacher or parent or call an advice line.

Try to keep calm; if you are frightened, try to show it as little as possible. Don’t get angry, it will only make the person bullying you more likely to continue.

Internet:

Don’t give out your personal details online – if you’re in a chat room, watch what you say about where you live, the school you go to, your email address etc. All these things can help someone who wants to harm you build up a picture about you.

Keep and save any bullying emails, text messages or images. Then you can show them to a parent, teacher or police as evidence.

If you can, make a note of the time and date bullying messages or images were sent, and note any details about the sender.

There is plenty of online advice about how to react to cyber bullying. For example, www.kidscape.org and www.wiredsafety.org have some useful tips.

Emails:

Never reply to unpleasant or unwanted emails (‘flames‛) – the sender wants a response, so don‛t give them that satisfaction.

Keep the emails as evidence and tell an adult about them.
Ask an adult to contact the sender‛s Internet Service Provider (ISP) by writing abuse@ and then the host, e.g. abuse@hotmail.com.
Never reply to someone you don‛t know, even if there is an option to ‘unsubscribe‛.

Replying simply confirms your email address as a real one.

Text/video messaging:

You can easily stop receiving text messages for a while by turning off incoming messages for a couple of days. This might stop the person texting you by making them believe you’ve changed your phone number.

If the bullying persists, you can change your phone number. Ask your mobile service provider about this.

Don’t reply to abusive or worrying test or video messages. Your mobile service provider will have a number for you to ring or text to report phone bullying. Visit their website for details.

Don’t delete messages from cyber bullies. You don’t have to read them, but you should keep them as evidence.

Text harassment is a crime. If the calls are simply annoying, tell a teacher, parent or carer. If they are threatening or malicious and they persist, report them to the police, taking with you all the messages you’ve received.

Phone calls:

If you get an abusive or silent phone call, don’t hang up immediately. Instead, put the phone down and walk away for a few minutes. Then hang up or turn your phone off.

Once they realise they can’t get you rattled, callers usually get bored and stop bothering you.

Always tell someone else: a teacher, youth worker, parent, or carer. Get them to support you and monitor what’s going on.

Don’t give out personal details such as your phone number to just anyone. Never leave your phone lying around.

When you answer your phone, just say ‘hello‛, don’t give your name. If they ask you to confirm your phone number, ask what number they want and then tell them if they’ve got the right number or not. You can use your voicemail to vet your calls. A lot of mobiles display the caller’s number. See if you recognise it. If you don’t, let it divert to voicemail instead of answering.

Don’t leave your name on your voicemail greeting. You could get an adult to record your greeting. Their voice might stop the caller ringing again. Almost all calls nowadays can be traced. If the problem continues, think about changing your phone number.

If you receive calls that scare or trouble you, make a note of the times and dates and report them to the police. If your mobile can record calls, take the recording along too.

If you get an abusive or silent phone call, don’t hang up immediately. Instead, put the phone down and walk away for a few minutes. Then hang up or turn your phone off. Once they realise they can’t get you rattled, callers usually get bored and stop bothering you.

Text harassment is a crime. Don’t delete messages from cyber bullies. You don’t have to read them, but you should keep them as evidence. If they are threatening or malicious and they persist, report them to the police, taking with you all the messages you’ve received.

If the calls are simply annoying, tell a teacher, parent or carer.

Almost all calls nowadays can be traced.

Three steps to stay out of Harm’s way

  1. Respect other people – online and off. Don’t spread rumours about people or share their secrets, including their phone numbers and passwords.
     
  2. If someone insults you online or by phone, stay calm – and ignore them.
     
  3. ‘Do as you would be done by‛. Think how you would feel if you were bullied. You’re responsible for your own behaviour – make sure you don’t distress other people or cause them to be bullied by someone else.
     

Guidance for staff:

“Bullying can be done verbally, in writing or images, including through communication technology (cyber bullying) e.g. graffiti, text messaging, e-mail or postings on websites. It can be done physically, financially (including damage to property) or through social isolation.

Verbal bullying

This is the most common form of bullying.
Making insulting comments about someone on a website, social networking site (eg: MySpace) or online diary (blog)

Visual bullying

Making or sharing derogatory or embarrassing videos of someone via mobile phone or e-mail (such as ‘Happy Slapping’ videos)

It should be noted that the use of ICT to bully could be against the law. Abusive language or images, used to bully, harass or threaten another, whether spoken or written (through electronic means) may be libellous, may contravene the Harassment Act 1997 or the Telecommunications Act 1984 for example. Procedures for cyber- bullying are as follows. It should be noted that the use of the web, text messages, e- mail, video or audio to bully another pupil or member of staff will not be tolerated.

Bullying Incident Directed at a Child; occurs using email or mobile phone technology either inside or outside of school time.

  1. Advise the child not to respond to the message
     
  2. Secure and preserve any evidence
     
  3. Refer to relevant policies and report to the Principal who will investigate before applying the appropriate sanctions
     
  4. Inform the sender’s e-mail service provider
     
  5. Notify parents of the children involved
     
  6. Consider delivering a parent workshop for the school community
     
  7. Consider informing the police depending on the severity or repetitious nature of offence
     

Comments Posted on an Internet site; about a pupil or member of staff.

  1. Inform the site administrator of all suspected or known incidences of inappropriate comments posted on socially accessible domains. eg emails, blogs etc.
     
  2. The site administrator will secure and preserve any evidence.
     
  3. The Systems Administrator will look at the evidence and monitor the usage of ICT, where necessary action will be taken to trace the source and to stop abuse and prevent future occurrences.
     
  4. The Police will be informed as appropriate.
     
  5. Consider delivering a parent workshop for the school community Children should be confident in a no-blame culture when it comes to reporting inappropriate incidents involving the internet or mobile technology: they must be able to do this without fear.
     

Handling Cyber-Safety Complaints:

Prompt action will be required if a complaint is made.

The facts of the case will need to be established. For instance it is possible that an issue has arisen through home Internet use or by contacts outside school.

Transgressions of the rules by pupils could include minor as well as the potentially serious. The school’s complaints / Grievance procedure will be used as appropriate and sanctions for irresponsible use must be linked to the school’s behaviour policy.

In more serious situations the Police must be contacted.

Complaints of any Internet misuse will be dealt with by senior staff. Any complaint about staff misuse must be referred to the Principal.

Complaints of a child protection nature must be dealt with in accordance with school child protection procedures.

Under regulations 40 and 41 of the Education Regulations 1997, principals can suspend or exclude a student who acts in a manner that threatens the safety or wellbeing of a student or member of staff, or another person associated with the school. These regulations do not preclude an event that occurs outside of school hours or off site. Principals can therefore use these procedures with a student enrolled at their school if the principal believes, on reasonable grounds, that the student has acted in such a manner, even if this behaviour occurred outside of school hours or off site. Police officers also have the power to confiscate a mobile phone where any image held on the phone is possible evidence of a crime.

The phone may be kept by SAPOL until the action comes before a court. Where DECS staff reasonably suspects that a student has used a mobile phone to record a crime, the phone should be confiscated and handed to SAPOL without the staff member opening the video message to view it. Opening the video message may compromise evidence. Providing this advice to your school community will support the implementation of the Keeping Safe Child Protection Curriculum which includes content on the safe use of new technologies.

Follow these SMART tips

Secret – Always keep your name, address, mobile phone number and password private – it’s like giving out the keys to your home!

Meeting someone you have contacted in cyberspace can be extremely dangerous. Only do so with your parent’s/carer’s permission, and only when they can be present.

Accepting e-mails or opening files from people you don’t really know or trust can get you into trouble – they may contain viruses or nasty messages. They are not safe and should be deleted without opening.

Remember someone on-line may be lying and not be who he or she say they are. Stick to the public areas in chat rooms and if you feel uncomfortable simply get out of there!

Tell your parent or carer if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried.

 

All policy documents are accessible on the Kamaruka website and are available for staff to view in each staff room. Copies are provided for parents with enrolment forms.

_______________________________________________________________________

Dear Parents,

As part an important part of your child’s education and in the development of ICT skills, Kamaruka Education Centre is providing supervised access to the Internet. We believe that the use of the Internet is worthwhile and an essential skill for children as they grow up in the modern world. Please read carefully the attached Policy and Rules for Responsible use of technology (mobile phones, iPods, cameras, Xbox etc), and Internet Use and discuss them with your child.

As there are concerns about students having possible access to in appropriate materials through the Internet, we are taking positive steps to deal with this risk in school.

At Kamaruka Education Centre we take the following steps to ensure an acceptable use of ITC equipment and Technology including access to the Internet:

  • Supervised access and use of the internet by students.
     
  • Websites used by the students will be chosen by staff prior to use
     
  • Regular checks of computer use logs including internet browser history, bookmarks and emails.
     
  • Students will be informed of the attached Rules for Responsible Internet Use.
     
  • Students are discouraged from bringing ICT devises from home without written parental consents and use will only occur after the content has been vetted by staff.
     

Whilst every endeavour is made to ensure that suitable restrictions are placed on the ability of children to access inappropriate materials, the school cannot be held responsible for the nature or content of materials accessed through the Internet. The school will not be liable for any damages arising from your child’s use of the Internet facilities.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s use of the Internet in school then you are most welcome to contact the school for further information.

Yours sincerely,

Alfonso Scibilia

(Principal)

_______________________________________________________________________

Internet Safety Rules for Students

INTERNET SAFETY RULES FOR STUDENTS – DOWNLOAD

On the network, I will only use my own login username and password.

I will not look at, change or delete other people’s work/files.

I will ask permission before entering any website, unless my teacher has already approved that site

I will only send e-mail which my teacher has approved. I will make sure that the messages I send are polite and sensible.

When sending e-mail I will not give my name, address or phone number or arrange to meet anyone

I understand that I am not allowed to enter Internet Chat Rooms while using school computers.

If I see anything I am unhappy with or I receive messages I do not like, I will tell a teacher immediately.

I understand that if I deliberately break these rules I could be stopped from using the Internet.

Pupil’s Signature ______________________________________ Class________________

 

Parents Signature ____________________________________________________________

 

Date: ______________________________________________________________________

A COPY OF THIS AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED IS PROVIDED WITH ENROLMENT FORMS