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Student Empowered Use Policy for Technology 2018-2019

Expectations for the Ethical Use of Technology and the Internet for Students in Grades 4 - 8

First and foremost, we expect all Brookwood students to use technology in a way that is consistent with the school’s Code of Ethics and its policy and guidelines regarding cyber-bullying, both on and off campus.  [Please refer to the Family Handbook.] The Massachusetts Cyber-bullying law applies both outside of school and inside. 

When it comes to computer technology at Brookwood or anywhere else, we ask that students:

  • Be empowered to be problem solvers. Use computer technology to get things done and solve the world’s problems! Create something awesome and inspiring! Share what you do with others.
  • Be careful and gentle. Technology tools can be fragile and deserve respect. Please help us all by taking good care of the equipment you use; both hardware and the many accounts, desktops, screens, icons and software.
  • Be nice and be courteous. Please respect the files and computer resources of other people.  Don’t open and/or use other people’s files without their permission. Treat their files and resources as you would want them to treat yours. Don’t change or remove the computer resources we all use throughout the school.
  • Obey laws about theft.  Please don’t make copies, or download copies, of software, music or movie files unless you are told that it is free. If you are not sure if something is free, ask an adult. (But be careful! Many “free” things on the Internet include malware – software that is harmful. Ask an adult for help.)
  • Be smart and be safe. Use the Internet in ways that are appropriate or ways that you would be proud to show your family and teachers. Unfortunately, most online game sites contain video games that are very violent or contain content that is not appropriate for children from age five and up. Because of this, we ask that you only use Brookwood-approved game sites, such as before and after the school day. Violent games and games that use weapons are not acceptable game choices at Brookwood. For acceptable game choices, visit: and click games.
  • Be an up-stander and leader. If you see bad behavior on the Internet, over email, texting, or gaming, don’t join in. Ask for it to stop. Say something nice to the person whose feelings are being hurt. Lead by example.  If you are hurt, angry, or upset, get offline. Though fun and exciting, using technology tools such as texting, social networks, or emails are very poor tools to help you solve emotional problems.  Instead, call someone on the phone or talk to him/her in person!

Although Brookwood uses software & hardware tools to prevent children from viewing objectionable and inappropriate Internet content, and/or to prevent children from socializing online while at school, no solution is foolproof.

Expectations About Cyber-bullying:
The Internet is constantly changing, and new technologies and websites make it possible for students to mistreat each other in new ways every year.  Bullying, and cyber-bullying in particular, are against the law in the state of Massachusetts, in addition to violating Brookwood School’s Empowered Use Policy and Code of Ethics.  Cyber-bullying may take many forms as illustrated in these examples:

Anonymity: Sending negative, hurtful, frightening, intimidating or inappropriate messages while hiding one’s identity.

Cyber-stalking: Repeated, intense harassment and denigration that includes threats, intimidation, implied threats, or creates significant fear.

Denigration: "Dissing" someone; e.g. writing, saying, sending or posting gossip or rumors about a person to damage his or her reputation or friendships either in real life or through the use of any electronic media. Making someone the brunt of a joke.

Exclusion: Intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from groups or activities online or in real life.

Flaming: Sending electronic messages with angry and/or vulgar language.

Harassment: Repeatedly sending nasty, mean, or insulting messages in written or electronic form using technology including computers, tablets, cell phones, or the Internet.

Impersonation: Pretending to be someone else and sending or posting material to get that person in trouble or danger, or to damage that person's reputation or friendships.

Intimidation: Using any form of written, spoken, or electronic media to imply an act of violence, aggression, inflicting harm, blackmail, destruction of personal property, and/or exposing information that could be humiliating, embarrassing, or which makes someone the target of harassment.

Malicious Code: Purposely causing a computer infection from a virus, Trojan, spyware, adware or other form of malware.

Misrepresentation: Posting, disseminating, or otherwise using the personal information of another person in ways that result in financial loss, loss of privacy, or in that person’s becoming a target of spammers, online marketers, or others who might contact the owner of the information.

Outing: Sharing someone's secrets, embarrassing information, or images online via cell phone or via other electronic device or the Internet.

Publicizing: In conjunction with the examples above, putting images, video or graphic representation of someone into any public forum, including social networks and other web sites, without his or her consent. This includes "tagging" photos in social networks that result in any of the above examples.  This may also include purposely sending or posting photos or information about someone to humiliate them.

Trickery: Talking someone into revealing secrets, private personal information, or embarrassing information, and then sharing it with others using the Internet, cell phone, or other electronic media. 

Any use of the Internet or smartphones to misrepresent oneself, to disparage the school or any other person, or to depict or advocate illegal or inappropriate behavior is a violation of Brookwood School’s Code of Ethics.