Code of Online Conduct
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) provides online systems and resources for use by employees and students. Online resources include all material that is accessed through a computer or telecommunications network.
All policies, procedures, codes of behaviour and rules of the TDSB apply to those using online systems and resources provided by or on behalf of the TDSB. The "Code of Online Conduct" pertains to the use of online systems and resources. This Code has been prepared to protect the rights and safety of all.
The TDSB takes appropriate measures to ensure the security of the facilities and information that may be contained in them. The TDSB reserves the right to monitor the use of online resources by all that access the systems.
1) Personal Safety Rules
- Never reveal information about your personal identity (such as your name, address, phone number, age, physical description or school) to strangers whom you may encounter online. Likewise, do not reveal such information in a public online forum where you may not know everyone who might see the information.
- Never reveal personal information online about someone else unless you have their prior permission and you know the information will not be used for harmful purposes.
- Never reveal your access password or that of anyone else.
- Never send a picture of yourself, another person or a group over an electronic network without prior informed permission of all the individuals involved and, in the case of minors, their parents or guardians.
- Report immediately to a teacher any message or request that you receive that bothers you or that suggests personal contact with you.
- Never publish the specific dates, times and locations of field trips to people who are not directly entitled to such information or to public forums where unknown persons might access the information.
2) Unacceptable Sites and Materials
- On a global network such as the Internet it is impossible to effectively control the content of the information. On occasion, users of online systems may encounter material that is controversial and which other users, parents or staff might consider inappropriate or offensive. It is the responsibility of the individual user not to intentionally access such material. If such material is accessed by accident, the incident must be reported immediately to a teacher or appropriate authority.
- The Toronto District School Board is committed to meeting obligations under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code by providing safe schools and workplaces that respect the rights of every individual. Discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated. It is not acceptable to use online systems to knowingly access sites, which contain material of a discriminatory or harassing nature.
- Users of the TDSB Online systems will not knowingly access, upload, download, store, display, distribute or publish any information that:
- is illegal or that advocates illegal acts or facilitates unlawful activity;
- threatens or intimidates any person or suggests violence, hatred or discrimination toward other people;
- uses inappropriate and/or abusive language or conduct;
- contains inappropriate religious or political messages;
- violates or infringes the rights of any other person according to the Toronto District School Board policies, Ministry of Education policies, the Ontario Human Rights Code, or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms;
- is racially, culturally or religiously offensive;
- encourages the use of controlled substances, participation in an illegal act or uses the system to incite criminal actions;
- is of a defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane, pornographic or sexually explicit nature;
- contains personal information , images, or signatures of individuals without their prior informed consent;
- constitutes messages of sexual harassment or which contains inappropriate romantic overtones;
- solicits any users on behalf of any business or commercial organization without appropriate authorization;
- supports bulk mail, junk mail or "spamming";
- propagates chain letters, or other e-mail debris;
- attempts to hide, disguise or misrepresent the identity of the sender.
3) Use Guidelines
All users of TDSB online systems will do the following:
- Keep use of online services within reasonable limits in terms of time and volume of information transferred through the system. Excessive use of the system may disrupt services for all users (e.g. sending mass mailings of large documents or transferring large files at times of peak system usage).
- Report to an appropriate authority any harm to the system or to information on the system whether that harm has been caused accidentally or intentionally.
4) Prohibited Uses and Activities
All users of TDSB online systems will not do the following:
- Copy, download, install or run viruses or other inappropriate or unauthorized materials such as games, files, scripts, fonts, or dynamic link libraries (DLL's) from any source.
- Cause damage to any computer(s) and/or equipment including, but not limited to computer hardware, furniture, projectors, connectors, keyboards, storage devices (e.g. disk drives), and pointing devices (e.g. mice).
- Damage or erase files or information belonging to any person without authorization.
- Use any other person's account on the system.
- Cause any user to lose access to the system - for example, by disabling accounts or changing passwords without authorization.
- Open a computer case, move a computer, tamper with computer cables or connections without proper authorization.
- Attach unauthorized devices to a computer or network. Such devices include but are not limited to portable computers, disk drives, protocol analyzers, and other electronic or mechanical devices. Move, copy, or modify any of the system files or settings on any computer, server or other device without proper authorization.
- Compromise themselves or others by unauthorized copying of information, work or software belonging to others, encouraging others to abuse the computers or network, displaying, transferring or sharing inappropriate materials. Software pirating and unauthorized copying of material belonging to others is regarded as theft.
- Copy, transfer or use files, programs or any other information belonging to the TDSB for any reason whatever unless the licensing specifically permits such actions.
- Attempt to subvert the TDSB networks by breaching security measures, hacking accessing records without authorization or any other type of disruption.
- Take the ideas, writings or images of others and present them as if they were yours. Under copyright laws, all information remains the property of the creator(s)/author(s) and therefore permission is required for its use. The use of copyright materials without permission can result in legal action.
Inappropriate use of online access by students and staff could result in disciplinary action that may include legal action and/or involvement of police.
6) Online Publishing
Information published on the Internet or Intranet can reach millions of people who are mostly unknown to the original publishers. For this reason, it is important to regulate information that is published through the facilities of the Toronto District School Board.
- The electronic publication of information using the facilities of the TDSB is subject to all TDSB policies and guidelines.
- Links from a Toronto District Board site to outside sites must be carefully selected and are subject to the same standards of content quality as TDSB sites.
- A means of contacting the publisher of any collection of information (such as a Web site) must be clearly identified on the opening screen of the collection.
- The information published online must be kept current and accurate with no conscious attempt to mislead the reader.
- Personal information such as personal addresses, phone numbers, individual or group pictures, or signatures cannot be published without express informed permission according to TDSB procedures.
- For the safety of our students, schools or departments must NOT publish specific dates, times and locations of future field trips.
- The appropriate school or department administrator is responsible for ensuring that all work published is original or has been cleared for copyright with the originator and ownership of the copyright is clearly indicated.
- Advertising on any TDSB related electronic publication is subject to the approval of the appropriate supervisory officer.
- All Web pages posted to the Internet must be linked to the official central site of the Toronto District School Board.
- All Web pages hosted on the TDSB corporate site or paid for by the TDSB are considered property of the TDSB.
The Toronto District School Board makes no warranties of any nature or kind, expressed or implied, regarding its online services or resources, the continued operation of these services, the equipment and facilities used and their capacities, or the suitability, operability and safety of any program or file posted on TDSB systems for any intended purpose.