State law encourages districts to adopt acceptable Internet use policies or to provide instruction on safe Internet use.
Illinois Compiled Statutes 105-5-27-13.3. Internet safety education curriculum.
(a) The purpose of this Section is to inform and protect students from inappropriate or illegal communications and solicitation and to encourage school districts to provide education about Internet threats and risks, including without limitation child predators, fraud, and other dangers.
(b) The General Assembly finds and declares the following:
- (1) it is the policy of this State to protect consumers and Illinois residents from deceptive and unsafe communications that result in harassment, exploitation, or physical harm;
- (2) children have easy access to the Internet at home, school, and public places;
- (3) the Internet is used by sexual predators and other criminals to make initial contact with children and other vulnerable residents in Illinois; and
- (4) education is an effective method for preventing children from falling prey to online predators, identity theft, and other dangers.
(c) Each school may adopt an age-appropriate curriculum for Internet safety instruction of students in grades kindergarten through 12. However, beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, a school district must incorporate into the school curriculum a component on Internet safety to be taught at least once each school year to students in grades 3 through 12. The school board shall determine the scope and duration of this unit of instruction. The age-appropriate unit of instruction may be incorporated into the current courses of study regularly taught in the district’s schools, as determined by the school board, and it is recommended that the unit of instruction include the following topics:
- (1) Safe and responsible use of social networking websites, chat rooms, electronic mail, bulletin boards, instant messaging, and other means of communication on the Internet.
- (2) Recognizing, avoiding, and reporting online solicitations of students, their classmates, and their friends by sexual predators.
- (3) Risks of transmitting personal information on the Internet.
- (4) Recognizing and avoiding unsolicited or deceptive communications received online.
- (5) Recognizing and reporting online harassment and cyber-bullying.
- (6) Reporting illegal activities and communications on the Internet.
- (7) Copyright laws on written materials, photographs, music, and video.
(d) Curricula devised in accordance with subsection (c) of this Section may be submitted for review to the Office of the Illinois Attorney General.
(e) The State Board of Education shall make available resource materials for educating children regarding child online safety and may take into consideration the curriculum on this subject developed by other states, as well as any other curricular materials suggested by education experts, child psychologists, or technology companies that work on child online safety issues. Materials may include without limitation safe online communications, privacy protection, cyber-bullying, viewing inappropriate material, file sharing, and the importance of open communication with responsible adults. The State Board of Education shall make these resource materials available on its Internet website.