Available Soon: Request your printed copies of the Idaho Freedom Index mailed to you!
Request Your Copies
Note to Dustin: This is currently only visible to logged in users for testing.
Click Me!
video could not be found

House Bill 663 — School internet use policy

House Bill 663 — School internet use policy

Parrish Miller
March 1, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 663 would require school districts to block students from accessing social media platforms on the students' own devices, when using school wi-fi, and to implement "digital literacy" instruction that is ripe for political bias. 

Rating: -2

Does the bill protect freedom of speech in teaching or learning Conversely, does the bill restrict freedom of speech in teaching or learning?

House Bill 663 would amend Section 33-132, Idaho Code, related to the "internet use policy" that every school district is required to implement. This bill includes some new language related to preventing unauthorized access to personal information. More significantly, it expands the scope of "internet use policy" from school computers to students' personal devices. 

The bill would "authorize local education agencies to prohibit students from using personal wireless communications during instructional time except as authorized by a teacher for educational purposes." It is important to remember that students are not inmates and schools are not detention centers. 

Additionally, the bill would require schools to "prohibit and prevent students from accessing social media platforms through the use of internet access provided by the school district, except for platforms the school district or school has identified for students' educational use, or when expressly directed by a teacher solely for educational or career exploration purposes."

This would effectively require school districts to block students from accessing websites and apps on their own devices when using school wi-fi. More troubling still, is the arbitrary nature of allowing districts to deem some social media platforms useful for "students' educational use" or for "educational or career exploration purposes."

Which social media platforms have the best lobbyists? Perhaps they will be able to convince school boards that they serve a legitimate education purpose and don't deserve to be censored like their competitors. 


Does the bill reinforce the idea of equal treatment under the law, merit, individual responsibility, personal agency, and expectations of academic excellence? Conversely, does the bill allow for any type of discrimination against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group for any purpose on the basis of race, sex, color, economic class, ethnicity, national origin, geographic area, legacy status, or other identity group?

House Bill 663 would create Section 33-1637, Idaho Code, to require "each school district, specially charted district, and public charter school serving students in grades 6 through 12, or any combination thereof, shall provide instruction to all students in grades 6 through 12 in digital literacy."

The bill goes on to define "digital literacy" very broadly, including some types of instruction that seem ripe for smuggling in the biases of the instructor. Among these are "digital citizenship," "evaluating online sources," and "identifying bias."

These are incredibly subjective notions, and which sources are considered reputable or biased is will differ based on a person's personal political and social beliefs. How will these discussions affect students when the news sources on which their families rely are denigrated as biased or untrustworthy? 

Schools should stick to teaching objective facts and leave more subjective discussions of a social and political nature to families. 


Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
p 208.258.2280 | e [email protected]
COPYRIGHT © 2024 Idaho freedom Foundation
magnifiercrossmenucross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram