The broadly written policy also allows schools to monitor any communications sent through or stored on school networks, which would essentially allow the school to read the content of stored and transmitted email.
The policy (.pdf) is intended to "protect students and adults from obscene information," "restrict access to materials that are harmful to minors" and help secure the school's network from malware.
But parts of the policy are so broadly written, they constitute clear violations of the First and Fourth Amendments, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They say the policy oversteps the school's authority and exhibits "a fundamental misunderstanding of the constitutional rights" of students.
Disciplinary actions for failing to follow the rules are also problematic, the groups say. Under the policy, failure to comply can result in "loss of network privileges, confiscation of computer equipment, suspension … and/or criminal prosecution."