The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. CIPA imposes certain requirements on schools or libraries that receive discounts for Internet access or internal connections through the E-rate program – a program that makes certain communications services and products more affordable for eligible schools and libraries. In early 2001, the FCC issued rules implementing CIPA and provided updates to those rules in 2011.
Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors). Before adopting this Internet safety policy, schools and libraries must provide reasonable notice and hold at least one public hearing or meeting to address the proposal.
Schools subject to CIPA have two additional certification requirements: 1) their Internet safety policies must include monitoring the online activities of minors; and 2) as required by the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, they must provide for educating minors about appropriate online behavior, including interacting with other individuals on social networking websites and in chat rooms, and cyberbullying awareness and response.
Schools and libraries subject to CIPA are required to adopt and implement an Internet safety policy addressing:
Schools and libraries must certify they are in compliance with CIPA before they can receive E-rate funding.
The following online safety resources are suggested for parents and teachers:
SafeHome.org: Keeping Kids Safe in Cyber Space
Kids.gov: Online Safety
National Children's Advocacy Center: Internet Safety Tips for Kids and Teens
KidsHealth: Internet Safety
SafeKids: Kid's Rules for Online Safety
Curriculum resources for teaching online safety and digital citizenship:
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: NetSmartz Workshop
Common Sense Education: Digital Citizenship
Information about cyper bullying can be found at:
US Department of Health and Human Services: Cyberbullying
Presentation to the local Board of Education on April 17, 2017:
Presentation to the local Board of Education on April 11, 2016: