Friday, December 30, 2011

New Laws for 2012

As we ring in the new year, it is important to note new laws related to technology effective January 1, 2012.
  •  In an attempt to keep up with ever-evolving technology, school boards will be allowed to suspend or expel students who make threats on the Internet against school employees, students or other personnel. 
  • People who create or are caught with films, videotapes or moving images of child pornography will face tougher penalties under a measure sponsored by Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale. Such a crime will now be a Class X felony, which could lead to increased jail time and fines of up to $100,000. That's more serious punishment than the penalties for photographing or possessing still pictures of child pornography.
  • There's also a push to keep used electronics out of landfills through recycling. Among the banned items: TVs, computers, monitors, printers, DVD players, gaming systems, MP3 players and fax machines. The idea is to keep toxic materials such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and beryllium out of the soil and groundwater, according to the Environmental Law Policy Center's Chicago office.  (From "New Year, New Laws", by Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 30, 2011)
Because our students have access to many handheld devices, it is crucial that children understand, completely, the laws above, particularly the first 2. We will be discussing these specific laws as well as additional Digital Citizenship topics over the next few weeks in Computer Education.

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