School City of East Chicago
Bylaws & Policies
 

5136 - WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES

Students may possess wireless communication devices (WCDs) in school, on school property, during after school activities (e.g. extra-curricular activities) and at school-related functions, provided that during school hours and on school vehicles the WCDs are powered completely off (i.e., not just placed into vibrate or silent mode) and concealed and secured in hall lockers (but not locker room lockers) or vehicles, or stored out of sight.

A "wireless communication device" is a device that emits an audible signal, vibrates, displays a message, or otherwise summons or delivers a communication to the possessor. The following devices are examples of WCDs: cellular and wireless telephones, pagers/beepers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), Blackberrys/Smartphones, Wi-Fi-enabled or broadband access devices, two-way radios or video broadcasting devices, and other devices that allow a person to record and/or transmit, on either a real time or delayed basis, sound, video or still images, text, or other information. Students may not use WCDs on school property or at a school-sponsored activity to access and/or view Internet websites that are otherwise blocked to students at school.

Also, during after school activities when directed by the administrator or sponsor, WCDs shall be powered completely off (not just placed into vibrate or silent mode) and stored out of sight.

The requirement that WCDs must be powered completely off will not apply in the following circumstance when the student obtains prior approval from the building principal: The student has a special health circumstance (e.g. an ill family member, or his/her own special health condition).

Students are prohibited from using WCDs to capture, record or transmit the words (i.e. audio) and/or images (i.e., pictures/video) of any student, staff member or other person in the school or while attending a school-related activity, without express prior notice and explicit consent for the capture, recording or transmission of such words or images. Using a WCD to take or transmit audio and/or pictures/video of an individual without his/her consent is considered an invasion of privacy and is not permitted, unless authorized by the building principal. Students who violate this provision and/or use a WCD to violate the privacy rights of another person may have their WCD confiscated and held until the end of the school year.

The use of WCDs 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, classrooms, and/or bathrooms.

No expectation of confidentiality will exist in the use of WCDs on school premises/property.

Students are prohibited from using a WCD 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.

Students are also prohibited from using a WCD to capture 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 their WCDs to receive such information.

Possession of a WCD by a student is a privilege that may be forfeited by any student who fails to abide by the terms of this policy, or otherwise engages in misuse of this privilege.

Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action and/or confiscation of the WCD. The building principal may also refer the matter to law enforcement if the violation involves an illegal activity (e.g. child pornography). 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 WCD is confiscated, it will be released/returned to the student's parent/guardian after the student complies with any other disciplinary consequences that are imposed. Any WCD confiscated by Corporation staff 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 parent/guardian. WCDs in Corporation custody will not be searched or otherwise tampered with unless school officials 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 WCD to school for a designated length of time or on a permanent basis.

A person who discovers a student in possession of or using a WCD in violation of this policy is required to report the violation to the building principal.

Students are personally and solely responsible for the care and security of their WCDs. The Board assumes no responsibility for theft, loss, damage, or vandalism to WCDs brought onto its property, or the unauthorized use of such devices.

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.

In case of an emergency, students may use school phones to contact parents/guardians during the school day.

© Neola 2009