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Old 10-20-2010, 05:28 PM   #1
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Default Question about Forum for School

I am in process of setting up a free forum (like this but not as cool) for the public schools to use for communicationg amongst the Band Boosters.

My question is about the access the kids will have. At the bottom of the registration setup page there is reference to COPPA and kids under age 13.

I know nothing about the legalities or other considerations related to this.

I'm assuming that we'd want the kids to have viewing access to the board (but don't know that for sure yet). So I don't know the proper way to set up the registration.

Does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing? I have pretty much set up the basics for the site, but have not showed it to anyone yet. I'd like to have that in place and be able to have a knowledgeable conversation with someone if they were to ask about it before proceeding.

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Old 10-20-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
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I use phpBB. it's free and has built in bad-word filtering. You can set it up so the user gets an account as soon as they sign up, after they get an email to confirm, or the admin has to manually turn it on.

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Old 10-20-2010, 06:25 PM   #3
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The board I am trying out has those features and I have them set the way i think they should be. My question is regarding COPPA requirements for underaged access and how it would relate to this particular situation (school boosters board).

Please don't make me read some complex convoluted statute!

EDIT: Just to be clear, I am not hosting this board, it's a free board hosted by someone else.

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Old 10-25-2010, 08:10 PM   #4
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I believe COPPA requires websites to be 13+ unless you take some additional steps to secure the accounts/information/access/etc. to protect young kids. Pretty much all sites require users to be 13 or over to avoid the additional liabilities.

Your band boosters should all be parents, right? I guess I'm not sure what the concern is. If you are concerned that kids under 13 need access, you would probably want to inform parents to register and make their own decisions about allowing their children to access the website.

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Old 10-26-2010, 02:42 PM   #5
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The majority of the Boosters are the adult parents of the band kids. However, there may be a number of actual band members (kids) who might want to participate in the boosters as well. There were a few at the last meeting I attended.

I suppose, since I can't know for certain exactly how old the participants might be, I should continue with the COPPA warning on the registration page. Everyone who wishes to participate in the forum must request access via email. They are manually added after their identity is verified. It's a local forum only.

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