|Cedar Springs Public School District|
|Bylaws & Policies|
5136 - PERSONAL COMMUNICATION DEVICES
Students may use personal communication devices (PCDs) before and after school, during their lunch break, in between classes as long as they do not create a distraction, disruption or otherwise interfere with the educational environment, during after school activities (e.g., extra-curricular activities), or at school-related functions. Use of PCDs, except those approved by a teacher or administrator, at any other time is prohibited and they must be powered completely off (i.e., not just placed into vibrate or silent mode) and stored out of sight.
The provisions defined in the paragraph above apply to all students with the exception of the use of PCD devices "during lunch break" and "in between classes." Students in K - 8 may not use their devices during these times.
Technology including, but not limited to, PCDs intended and actually used for instructional purposes (e.g., taking notes, recording classroom lectures, writing papers) will be permitted, as approved by the classroom teacher or the building principal. However, the use of a PCD except those approved by a teacher or administrator, at any other time is prohibited and they must be powered completely off (i.e., not just placed into vibrate or silent mode) and stored out of sight.
For purposes of this policy, "personal communication device" includes computers, tablets (e.g., iPads and similar devices), electronic readers ("e-readers"; e.g., Kindles and similar devices), cell phones (e.g., mobile/cellular telephones, smartphones (e.g., BlackBerry, iPhone, Android devices, Windows Mobile devices, etc.)), and/or other web-enabled devices of any type. Students may not use PCDs on school property or at a school-sponsored activity to access and/or view Internet web sites that are otherwise blocked to students at school. Students may use PCDs while riding to and from school on a school bus or other Board-provided vehicles, or on a school bus or Board-provided vehicle during school-sponsored activities, at the discretion of the bus driver, classroom teacher, or sponsor/advisor/coach. Distracting behavior that creates an unsafe environment will not be tolerated.
Also, during after school activities, PCDs shall be powered completely off (not just placed into vibrate or silent mode) and stored out of sight when directed by the administrator or sponsor.
Except as authorized by a teacher, administrator or IEP team, students are prohibited from using PCDs during the school day, including while off-campus on a field trip, to capture, record and/or transmit the words or sounds (i.e., audio) and/or images (i.e., pictures/video) of any student, staff member or other person. Using a PCD to capture, record and/or transmit audio and/or pictures/video of an individual without proper consent is considered an invasion of privacy and is not permitted. Students who violate this provision and/or use a PCD to violate the privacy rights of another person may have their PCD confiscated and held until a parent/guardian picks it up. If the violation involves potentially illegal activity, the confiscated-PCD may be turned-over to law enforcement. Any PCD operating that prevents the bus or vehicle driver from safely operating the vehicle and maintaining the required focus to do so will need to be turned off at the discretion/request of the driver.
The use of PCDs that contain built-in cameras (i.e., devices that take still or motion pictures, whether in a digital or other format) is prohibited in locker rooms, shower facilities, rest/bathrooms, and/or swimming pool.
Students shall have no expectation of confidentiality with respect to their use of PCDs on school premises/property.
Students may not use a PCD in any way that might reasonably create in the mind of another person an impression of being threatened, humiliated, harassed, embarrassed or intimidated. See Policy 5517.01 – Bullying and Other Forms of Aggressive Behavior. In particular, students are prohibited from using PCDs to: (1) transmit material that is threatening, obscene, disruptive, or sexually explicit or that can be construed as harassment or disparagement of others based upon their race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, or political beliefs; and (2) engage in "sexting" - i.e., sending, receiving, sharing, viewing, or possessing pictures, text messages, e-mails or other materials of a sexual nature in electronic or any other form. Violation of these prohibitions shall result in disciplinary action. Furthermore, such actions will be reported to local law enforcement and child services as required by law.
Students are also prohibited from using a PCD to capture, record, and/or transmit test information or any other information in a manner constituting fraud, theft, cheating, or academic dishonesty. Likewise, students are prohibited from using PCDs to receive such information.
Possession of a PCD by a student at school during school hours and/or during extra-curricular activities is a privilege that may be forfeited by any student who fails to abide by the terms of this policy, or otherwise abuses this privilege.
Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action and/or confiscation of the PCD. The building principal will also refer the matter to law enforcement or child services if the violation involves an illegal activity (e.g., child pornography, sexting). Discipline will be imposed on an escalating scale ranging from a warning to an expulsion based on the number of previous violations and/or the nature of or circumstances surrounding a particular violation. If the PCD is confiscated, it will be released/returned to the student or parent/guardian, based on progression of discipline, after the student complies with any other disciplinary consequences that are imposed, unless the violation involves potentially illegal activity in which case the PCD may be turned-over to law enforcement. A confiscated device will be marked in a removable manner with the student's name and held in a secure location in the building's central office until it is retrieved by the student, parent/guardian, or turned-over to law enforcement. School officials will not search or otherwise tamper with PCDs in District custody unless they reasonably suspect that the search is required to discover evidence of a violation of the law or other school rules. Any search will be conducted in accordance with Policy 5771 – Search and Seizure. If multiple offenses occur, a student may lose his/her privilege to bring a PCD to school for a designated length of time or on a permanent basis.
A person who discovers a student using a PCD in violation of this policy is required to report the violation to the administrator or designee.
Students are personally and solely responsible for the care and security of their PCDs. The Board assumes no responsibility for theft, loss, or damage to, or misuse or unauthorized use of, PCDs brought onto its property.
Parents/Guardians are advised that the best way to get in touch with their child during the school day is by calling the school office.
Students may use school phones to contact parents/guardians during the school day.
© Neola 2012