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2012- The Secretary of Education created an advisory council designed to make recommendations and give advice about harassment, hazing, and bullying prevention strategies and resources through the passage of Act 129. Each school must also provide a safe, orderly, civil, and positive learning environment to students and create prevention policies regarding harassment, hazing, and bullying.
In the same year, Vermont released the 2012-2015 Vermont Educational Technology Plan which highlights five goals schools should strive for, including student centered learning, leadership, flexible learning environments, engaged community partners, and an effective local technology plan evaluation. This plan also includes sample pages for districts to mirror and provides research and other resources to assist in local planning.
2013- Governor Peter Shumlin signed Act 77- Flexible Pathways, a bill which among other things, increased the number of virtual and blended learning opportunities and increased access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) for Vermont students. Blended and virtual learning happens when the teacher and student communicates concurrently through real time telecommunication or when the teacher and the student do not have concurrent communication and the student is able to work online according to their own schedule.
In the same year, Vermont and two other states first developed special contracts with Hewlett Packard and Computer Technology Link to aid the technology purchasing required for 1:1 Computing, which lends a tablet or laptop to every student in a school district. These contracts allow schools to choose from several technology options and the range of programs and services attached. In 2014, Chromebooks were added to the contracts and the two contracts are updated periodically to reflect current pricing.
2016- New Local and State Digital Learning Plans for 2016-2019 are currently being drafted to replace the 2012-2016 version. Once they are released, individual school are required to be submit their plans by November 15, 2016 in order to comply with the state. This 2016-2019 version is different from the 2012-2016 version because Supervisory Unions and Supervisory Districts will have the same submission dates and thus be on the same cycle.
Students in Vermont are required by the Department of Education to learn about aspects of digital citizenship in terms of the ethical use of information technology. This is detailed in the state’s Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities. To find out more go to http://education.vermont.gov/new/pdfdoc/pubs/framework.pdf
Teenagers' Mode Choice To and From School and Technology Use for Transportation: Analysis of Students From Five High Schools in Vermont and California (2015)P. Aizpuru
This dissertation looks at the relationship between mode of transportation choice and the use of technology during that decison when choosing how to get to and from school.
Effective Use of the Internet Research Report-Vermont (2014)C. Thompson, K. Spear, M. Reid, C. Campbell
This report looks at the areas where positive impacts have been made on the well being of Vermonters due to Internet skills training. It specifically focuses on the general public, senior adults, low income residents, low income families with school aged children, and veterans.
This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
The age of consent in Vermont is 16 years of age.
- 13 Vermont Statutes Annotated (V.S.A.) § 1027. Disturbing Peace by Use of Telephone or Other Electronic Communications. This section states that anyone who uses electronic communications or telephone to make any obscene, lewd, lascivious or indecent request, suggestion or proposal to another person with intent to intimidate, harass, threaten, annoy or terrify the receiver is guilty of an offense. Threatening to inflict injury and disturbing the peace by repeated anonymous electronic communications or telephone calls is equally unlawful. The offender will be liable to imprisonment for up to three months and/or a maximum fine of $250. A second conviction carries an increased fine of $500 and a prison term of six months.
- 13 V.S.A. § 1062. Stalking. This section states that any person who intentionally stalks another person faces a term of imprisonment of up to two years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 1063. Aggravated Stalking. States that a person commits this offense when (among other definitions) the person being stalked is less than sixteen years of age or the offender is in breach of a court order preventing such behavior. The penalty for this crime is up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $25,000, or both. In addition, the crime is considered a violent act for the purposes of determining bail.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2601. Lewd and Lascivious Conduct. States that anyone who is found guilty of open and gross lewdness and lascivious behavior faces a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of $300 or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2602. Lewd or Lascivious Conduct with Child. This section states that it is a criminal offense to commit any lewd or lascivious act with a child under the age of sixteen with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust, passions, or sexual desires of either person. For a first offense the penalty is a term of between two and fifteen years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. A second offense carries a term of between five years and life, a fine of up to $25,000 or both. A third offense carries a prison term of between ten years’ and life imprisonment, a fine of up to $25,000 or both. The minimum terms set in each case must be served and may not be deferred, suspended or served as a supervised sentence. This section does not apply where the offender is under nineteen, the conduct is consensual and occurs with a child over fifteen.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2605. Voyeurism. It is unlawful for any person to intentionally view, photograph, film, or record the intimate parts of any person without their consent where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy. It is equally unlawful to secretly record, film or photograph another person engaged in a sexual act. This carries a term of imprisonment of up to two years, a fine of up to $1,000, or both for a first offense. Subsequent offenses carry a term of up to three years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. Dissemination of any such recordings carries a term of up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of $5,000 or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2652. Human Trafficking. Defines the offense as to recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide or obtain a person under the age of eighteen with the intent to have this person engage in a commercial sexual act, among other definitions. The offender will be liable to imprisonment for a term up to life or a fine of up to $500,000, or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2802. Disseminating Indecent Material to a Minor in the Presence of the Minor. States that no person may sell, distribute, or disseminate to a minor any material that shows a person or portion of the human body which depicts nudity, sexual conduct or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to a minor. This carries a term of imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2802b. Minor Electronically Disseminating Indecent Material to Another Person. This section states that no minor shall voluntarily send an indecent image of themselves to another person. It also states that no person may possess such a visual depiction, sent in violation of this section. There is no violation of this section if the recipient took reasonable steps to destroy the image, whether or not it was successful. For a first offense, minors will be treated as delinquent and the case will be filed in family court and treated as a juvenile proceeding. In addition, first time offenders will not be charged under chapter 64 of the statues (sexual exploitation of a minor) and will not be required to register as sex offenders. For a subsequent violation of this section a minor may be tried either in family court or in district court and may be charged with the sexual exploitation of a minor but will not be required to register as a sex offender. Upon reaching eighteen years of age the records of a minor who has been adjudicated delinquent under this section will be expunged. Should the minor send such an image to an adult over the age of eighteen and they do not take reasonable steps to destroy it, they may be fined $300, imprisoned for up to six months or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2803. Distribution of Indecent Material. States that it is a crime to hire, employ or permit a minor to distribute any material considered to be harmful to them. This carries a term of imprisonment not to exceed one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2804. Exhibition of Motion Pictures. Where a person exhibits a motion picture that is harmful to minors and depicts nudity and sexual conduct they commit a crime and face up to one year’s imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2804b. Displaying Obscene Materials to Minors. It is a crime, carrying a sentence of up to a year’s imprisonment, a fine of $1,000 or both, to permit or allow a minor to view any material such as a picture, photograph, drawing, sculpture, book, magazine, paperback, or pamphlet depicting nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse which is harmful to minors.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2822. Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance. This section states that it is unlawful to promote a sexual performance by a child or a performance which contains a lewd exhibition of the genitals, anus or breasts of a child. This includes hiring, using or inducing a child to take part. The penalty for a violation of this section is a term of imprisonment of up to ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2823. Consenting to a Sexual Performance. States that it is a crime to consent to the participation of a child in a sexual performance or a performance including a lewd exhibition of the genitals by the child. This carries a term of imprisonment of up to ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2824. Promoting a Recording of Sexual Conduct. This section states that it is an offense to promote or to record any material depicting sexual conduct by a child, or of a lewd exhibition of a child’s genitals or anus. Those found guilty face a term of imprisonment of up to ten years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both. This subsection does not apply to paintings, drawings, or to non-visual or written descriptions of the sexual conduct. Defenses include bona fide medical, psychological, social work, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purposes or that the defendant was a bona fide school, museum, or public library, or that the defendant in good faith believed that the child in fact was over the age of 16 when the recording was made.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2827. Possession of Child Pornography. States that no person shall, with knowledge of the character and content, possess any material that shows sexual conduct by a child or of a clearly lewd exhibition of a child’s genitals or anus. This includes images or other depictions stored on a computer. A person found guilty may be imprisoned for up to two years, fined up to $5,000 or both. Where the image depicts sexual conduct by the child the sentence is up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000 or both. A subsequent conviction of a violation of this section leads to a prison term of up to ten years, a fine of up to $50,000 or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 2828. Luring a Child. It is a criminal offense to solicit or lure a child under sixteen to engage in sexual acts or lewd and lascivious conduct. This includes in person, via the telephone or electronically. The maximum sentence for this is up to five years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
- 13 V.S.A. § 3252. Sexual Assault. States that no person shall engage in a sexual act with another person without consent or with the use of threats. Violation of this section means that the person may be imprisoned for no less than three years and for a maximum term of life, and, in addition, may be fined up to $25,000. Furthermore, it is unlawful to engage in a sexual act with a child who is less than sixteen. (Except where the person is less than nineteen and the child is at least fifteen and it is consensual.) The penalty for this is up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $10,000.
- 13 V.S.A. § 3253. Aggravated Sexual Assault. Defines the offense as to sexual assault where serious injury results or where the victim is under thirteen and the offender is over eighteen. This carries a minimum sentence of ten years’ and a maximum of life imprisonment and a fine of up to $50,000.
- 13 V.S.A. § 3253a. Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. Defines the offense as (among other criteria) where a person over the age of eighteen commits a sexual assault against a child under the age of sixteen under circumstances which constitute kidnapping. The sentence for this crime is a minimum term of 25 years’ and a maximum term of life imprisonment, with a fine of up to $50,000. The offender is not eligible for parole. Early release or supervised release until the end of the minimum term.
- 16 V.S.A. § 165. Education Quality Standards; Equal Educational Opportunities; Independent School Meeting Education Quality Standards. Requires that all Vermont children be afforded educational opportunities that are substantially equal in quality, and that each public school shall meet the same educational quality standards.
- 16 V.S.A § 570. Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying Prevention Policies. States that it is the policy of the State of Vermont that all educational institutions provide a safe, orderly, civil, and positive learning experience. States that no student should feel threatened or be discriminated against while enrolled in a Vermont school. Ensures that each school board develop prevention policies for harassment, hazing, and bullying.