Below is my comparison of the NEA and DPS Acceptable Use Policies:

National Education Association AUP

Key Elements

Denver Public Schools AUP

Key Elements


Explains why the policy is needed, its goals, and the process of developing the policy. This section should say that the school's overall code of conduct also applies to student online activity.



The District's goal in providing this service is to promote educational opportunities to schools by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication.  It also states in the preamble that any violations will result in termination of access, denial of future access, and possible disciplinary action.

 Definition section:

Defines key words used in the policy. Words and terms such as Internet, computer network, education purpose, and other possibly ambiguous terms need to be defined and explained to ensure student and parent comprehension.

 DPS defines six terms in its AUP:


1. Illegal activities - include, but are not limited to, any activities in violation of local, state, and/or federal laws.


2. Obscene activities - include activities in violation of generally accepted social standards for use of a publicly owned and operated communication vehicle. This includes retrieval of or access to any sexual explicit materials.


3. Inappropriate use - includes any activities conducted in violation of this policy or additional activities deemed inappropriate by system administrators.


4. System administrators - employees of the school district whose job functions include oversight of the district's computer network.


5. Dangerous information - information that if acted upon could cause damage, present a danger, or cause a disruption to the district or the community-at-large.


6. Compromising personal safety - revealing personal contact information relating to themselves or other persons


 Policy statement:

Must tell what computer services are covered by the AUP and the circumstances under which students can use computer services.  Schools may, for example, base student access to computer services on the completion of a "computer responsibility" class that will enhance student understanding of the AUP guidelines.


The District provides filtering to restrict access to obscene, pornographic, or other material that is harmful to minors. The District does not guarantee that such material will never be encountered. On a global network it is impossible to control all materials, and even casual users may easily discover or come across controversial material. The school District believes that the valuable information and interaction available on this worldwide network far outweighs the possibility that users may access material than is not consistent with the educational goals of the district.

 Acceptable uses:

Must define appropriate student use of the computer network. It may, for example, limit student use of the network to "educational purposes," which then must be defined.


 The District complies with the “protecting children in the 21st century act” (hereafter, the “act”), that requires schools and libraries receiving e-rate discounts to create and promote a public awareness campaign on internet use and safety as well as develop strategies for safe internet usage.

Additionally, educate the District’s students and users about appropriate online behavior, including but not limited to, interacting with other individuals on social networking websites, in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and understand how and what is the proper response.

 Unacceptable uses:

Should give clear, specific examples of what constitutes unacceptable student use.

  • What kind of computer network sites, if any, should be off limits to students;
  • What kind of student sending, forwarding, or posting of information, if any, should be prohibited, and
  • What kind of student behavior will be destructive to the computer network services and should, therefore, be restricted.

Among the sites that might be off limits to students are chat rooms and term paper vendors. In addition, AUPs often prohibit students from sending, forwarding, or posting sexually explicit messages, profanity, and harassing or violent messages.


1. Using the District's network for any or in support of an illegal or obscene activity, and/or inappropriate use.


2. Using the District's network for any inappropriate non-district-related business and/or commercial purpose, product advertising, or support of any political or lobbying activity.


3. Vandalizing the network or network resources, which includes, but is not limited to, any malicious attempt to harm, destroy, or alter data on the District's network, including introduction of any computer virus.


4. Attempting to access restricted data or to disrupt the use of the network for other users.


5. Using profanities or language that is generally offensive, defamatory, harassing, or threatening to another individual and/or group.


6. Creating or accessing dangerous information.


7. Violating copyrights or interference with license agreements. This includes, but is not limited to, software, uncredited use of text, graphics, photographs, electronic data, or interference with the privacy rights of individuals or entities without their authorization. Plagiarizing any information gathered via the District's network is also prohibited. Users have no proprietary ownership in materials placed on the District's network, unless such material is otherwise covered by copyright.


8. Providing access to the District's network to unauthorized users.


9. Sharing electronic mail account passwords, leaving passwords available in obvious locations, or leaving "signed on" computers unattended.


10. Compromising personal safety.


11. Allowing minors to access inappropriate matter on the internet.


12. Disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information regarding minors.



Should tell students how to report violations of the policy or whom to question about its application. It may simply provide that violations will be handled in accordance with the school's general student disciplinary code."



Communication conducted over the District's network is not private and District staff may, in conducing network supervision and maintenance, review and inspect directories or messages. The District reserves the right and will access stored records with or without reasonable cause to assure compliance with this policy.


The District provides the same policy for staff, parents, and students with no clear definition of what students should do to report a violation.

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