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HB 1217 - Student Technology Protection Act; enact

Tracking Level: Watch
Sponsor: Chris Erwin
Last Action: 3/29/2022 - Senate - Senate Read Second Time
House Committee: Education
Senate Committee: Science and Technology
Assigned To:
Local Board GovernanceNext Bill
Student SafetyNext Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

GSBA-CWO Header 

SUMMARY:  LC 49 0799  LC 49 0843S  LC 49 0997S

The bill is the "Student Technology Protection Act." It would be effective for the 2022-2023 school year.

It adds "methods of promoting the safe and appropriate use of technology and responsible digital citizenship" to the current requirements for a comprehensive character education program with an implementation date of the 2022-2023 school year.

Relating to internet safety in public schools, it adds or updates definitions for child pornography, harmful to minors, identifiable minor, internet, obscene material, and technology protection measure.

Requires that no later than October 1, 2022, local boards and charter governing boards update their acceptable use policies with language from the bill including setting appropriate measures to take if 

      1)students or employees intentionally violate the policy whether or not the student or employee was on school property, on a school bus, at a school related function or elsewhere, the measures must include disciplinary measures

      2) any person who is not a student or employee violates the policy regardless of their location 

Administrative procedures must be provided to enforce the policy and to address complaints regarding possible violations of the policy which must at least require that each complaint is responded to in writing by an appropriate school or district official. The procedures must be made available upon written request of a parent or guardian.

The acceptable use policy may differentiate acceptable uses among elementary, middle, and high school students and among different age groups but the rationale for the differentiation must be included in the policy.

Each local board must provide reasonable opportunities and procedures for parents of current students to confer and collaborate with school administrators and teachers regarding appropriate internet access for their children. 

Local boards and superintendents must do what is necessary and appropriate to implement and enforce the policy including providing for the adoption, use, and routine upgrading of technology protection measures which meet or exceed compliance standards and specifications established by the Department of Education. 

By April 1st each year the Department of Education shall establish compliance standards and specifications for technology protection measures used by local districts and recommend measures to be installed by the school/district on each computer or other electronic device issues to students for off-campus use.

A non-exclusive list of providers meeting or exceeding those standards and specifications may be provided, but the Department of Education shall no less than annually require each provider to verify that its technology protection measures meet or exceed the standards and specifications.

The Department of Education shall provide guidance and technical assistance to assist local school systems in complying with these requirements.

No later than December 1, 2022, the Department of Education shall develop guidelines for the training of school personnel and must include training in implementing and complying acceptable use policies; basic cyber security issues pertinent to schools, students, and educators including phishing; and other current and emerging issues and topics which address the safe and secure use of technology by students and educators.

Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, by October 1st each year, each local board must submit a copy of the acceptable use policy with identification of the technology protection measures used to the State Board of Education. The State Board shall review each of the submissions.

As under current law, the State Board is authorized to withhold a portion of state funding if the policy and protection measures are not submitted in a timely manner, if the policy is not reasonably designed to achieve the requirements, if the district is not enforcing or is substantially disregarding the policy, if the technology protection measures do not meet the required standards and specifications, or if the district is not using any technology protection measures to block access to material as required.

The code section is not waivable. 



July 1, 2022 

Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text