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CIPA: Legal Protection For Students' Online Safety

CIPA: Legal Protection For Students' Online Safety

Author: Gino Sangiuliano

In this lesson, you will learn about the Children's Internet Protection Act.


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Video Transcription

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Hi, everyone and welcome. I hope you're doing well today. Our topic is CIPA: Legal Protection for Students' Online Safety, a very important topic. So let's get started.

It happened so long ago, but it feels like yesterday. It was the late 1990s, and the elementary school I was working in was getting internet connection. It was a big deal.

I distinctly remember attending a parent meeting, along with the principal and the director of technology, to answer questions. The hands went up, and parent after parent had concerns about the filters and what security measures we had in place to protect children from the evil dangers of the internet. I've often thought about that meeting and how scared we all were, and for good reason. The ability to connect with the world that we take for granted today was new and posed potential dangers. Fortunately, measures have been put into place to protect our students, and CIPA that is one of those measures.

So CIPA stands for the Children's Internet Protection Act. It was enacted by Congress in the year 2000 to address concerns about children's access to harmful online content. CIPA imposes certain requirements on schools and libraries that receive discounts for internet access and internal connections through what's called the E-rate program. The E-rate program makes certain communication services and products more affordable. The law was expanded in 2011 to include the new technologies.

The Children's Internet Protection Act requires that schools and libraries must have an internet safety policy that blocks or filters access to pictures that are obscene or harmful to minors. Also school districts must hold public meetings before adopting any policy. Next, those policies must include monitoring online behaviors of minors. And finally, schools subject to CIPA requirements must teach minors about appropriate online behaviors. In developing internet safety policies, schools should be aware that they must address the following: possible access to inappropriate online content by minors, the safety and security of minors, particularly through things like emails and chat rooms, unauthorized access by hacking and other unlawful activities of minors, unauthorized disclosure and use of personal information, and finally, measures restricting access to online content that is harmful to minors.

Let's go ahead and summarize what we did today. We introduced CIPA, the Children's Internet Protection Act, which was enacted in 2000 and was updated in the year 2011. We went over the many requirements of CIPA. And we talked about things that schools need to consider when enacting their own internet safety policies.

Here's a little food for thought. In what ways do you think the Children's Internet Protection Act will continue to evolve as new technologies are introduced? For more information on how to apply what you learned in this video, please view the Additional Resources section that accompanies this presentation. The Additional Resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "CIPA: Legal Protection For Students' Online Safety"

(00:00-00:12) Intro

(00:13-00:57) Introducing the Internet

(00:58-01:29) What is CIPA?

(01:30-02:02) Requirements of CIPA

(02:03-02:38) School’s Internet Safety Policies

(02:39-03:02) Summary

(03:03-03:35) Food For Thought

Additional Resources

FCC Guide to the Children's Internet Protection Act

This is the official website to the Children's Internet Protection Act. The website helps you to also understand the connection between the act and receiving e-rate funds for technology purchases.

Principal's Guide to Scholastic Journalism: Internet Access and Safety

This site provides a concise overview of the Children's Internet Protection Act for principals. In particular, the article reviews what you need to know about filters; publishing student names and student photos; cyberbulling; and copyright.