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District Updates Project SAVE Policy to Reflect Rapid Technology Changes | Schools

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District Updates Project SAVE Policy to Reflect Rapid Technology Changes
Schools

Students in the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District will be held to a much higher standard this upcoming school year concerning the use of technology and violations of the District’s Code of Conduct.  District stakeholders, keenly aware of the increased use by students of mobile devices, social networking websites, instant messaging, and chat rooms, have updated the District’s Project SAVE (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education) policy to include disciplinary action against students who use technology to defame, tease, bully, or harass other students.

“Our District took pro-active measures to protect students and foster a safe environment for them inside and outside of schools.  We worked expeditiously to update our Code of Conduct to reflect rapid changes in technology,” said Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro.

Most revisions of the District’s SAVE policy concern the use of technology by students in and out of school buildings.  Students face potential disciplinary action for the following violations:

  • Unauthorized use of personal electronic devices/equipment:  cell phones, MP3 devices, and other personal electronic gaming devices deemed inappropriate by administration).
  • Defamation:  includes posting or publishing video recordings, audio recordings or pictures (written material, cell phones, internet, YouTube, etc.).
  • Teasing and bullying: communication (verbal, written electronic or graphic) and/or physical conduct based on an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, age, marital or veteran status, or disability.
  • Internet bullying (cyber-bullying):  use of instant messaging, email, web sites, chat rooms, text messaging, when such use interferes with the operation of the school, or infringes upon the general health, safety, and welfare of students and employees.
  • Sexual harassment:  includes taking, receiving or forwarding sexually explicit videos, pictures, or auditory recordings that are sexual in nature.
  • Definition of plagiarism:  the use or close imitation of the language and ideas of another author and representation of them as one’s own original work.  This includes copying from electronic sources (Internet), even with minor alterations.

The District’s SAVE policy is updated annually under the guidance of the Student Services Department and Executive Director Mr. Thomas Wolff.  Revisions were approved by the Board of Education on June 8th, 2010.  A new change also allows for disciplinary action against a student for the possession of lighters and matches.

“Students need to be aware that our District takes violations of our Code of Conduct very seriously.  Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated.  It is our duty to provide students with a healthy and safe learning environment.  The aggressive changes in our SAVE policy keeps up with numerous issues related to ever-changing technology, changes that will protect students this school year,” added Wolff.

Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District students, parents, and staff are highly encouraged to read the revised SAVE policy prior to the start of the new school year on Tuesday September 7th, 2010.  The revised policy has been posted on the main page of the District’s website: www.kenton.k12.ny.us

“Communication amongst families is a key component in making sure students are aware of what constitutes a violation of our Code of Conduct.  As with any aspect of a child’s education, I would encourage parents to take some time to have a healthy and open conversation about these changes as they relate to technology,” said Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District Board of Education President Bob Dana.

In addition to posting the revised SAVE policy on the district website, students in every school will be given a summary of the code at the beginning of the school year and parents can review a copy at any school.  Code of Conduct summaries will be mailed to all families in the district and also placed in the school calendar, parent handbook, and student handbook.

Disciplinary actions vary depending on the severity of violations and include: an oral warning, written warning, written notification to parent, detention, suspension from athletic participation, suspension from social or extracurricular activities, removal from the classroom, in school suspension, short and long term suspension, restitution of stolen or damaged property, legal action through law enforcement, permanent suspension.

“We have a set the bar very high for our expectations of student behavior on school property, at school functions, and in our community,” added Superintendent Mondanaro.

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