There are many considerations associated with the configuration of the LPS web filter. First, and foremost, the configuration of the filter, similar to any good search filter, is to focus access to those sites that directly support LPS instructional objectives and outcomes.
Second, district access to the Internet is purchased with funds derived from local and state taxes. Stewardship to our taxpayer community equates to making sure that our available bandwidth is being used to support the educational mission of the district. That is a reasonable and appropriate expectation of the citizenry that supports our schools as well as the Board of Education that represents them.
Third, the Board of Education has placed into policy specific language that requires the filter configuration to comply with regulatory language from the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). I have attached LPS Board Policy 6441 for your review and consideration.
Finally, all filters categorize URLs (web addresses). The categories represent a rather blunt instrument for denying access which in the case of something like pornography, defined by CIPA as “sites that contain content serving only a prurient interest,” is appropriate. In other cases we can start with a category and then allow specific sites within that category based on feedback. Again, what drives such decisions is providing access to content that directly relates to the instructional objectives of LPS.