|Manistee Area Schools|
|Bylaws & Policies|
5136 - WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES
Students may use wireless communication devices (WCDs) before and after school, during their lunch break in a designated area, during after school activities (e.g. extra curricular activities), and/or at school-related functions. Use of WCDs, except approved laptops and PDAs, at any other time is prohibited and they must be powered completely off and 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, laptops, 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. "Students may use WCDs while riding to and from school on a school bus or other vehicle provided by the Board, on a school bus or Board-provided vehicle during school-sponsored activities, at the discretion of the bus driver, classroom teacher, and/or sponsor/advisor/coach. Distracting behavior that creates an unsafe environment will not be tolerated."
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 circumstances when the student obtains prior approval from the building principal:
|A.||The student is a member of a volunteer fire company/department, ambulance or rescue squad.|
|B.||The student has a special health circumstance (e.g. an ill family member, or his/her own special health condition).|
|C.||The student is using the WCD for an educational or instructional purpose (e.g. taking notes, recording a class lecture, writing papers) with the teacher's permission and supervision. However, the use of any communication functionality of the WCD is expressly prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to, wireless Internet access, peer-to-peer (ad-hoc) networking, or any other method of communication with other devices or networks. The preceding prohibitions do not apply to Board-owned and issued laptops, PDAs or authorized assistive technology devices.|
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.
"Sexting" is prohibited at any time on school property or at school functions. Sexting is the electronic transmission of sexual messages or pictures, usually through cell phone text messaging. Such conduct not only is potentially dangerous for the involved students, but can lead to unwanted exposure of the messages and images to others, and could result in criminal violations related to the transmission or possession of child pornography. Such conduct will be subject to discipline and possible confiscation of the WCD.
WCDs, including but not limited to those with cameras, may not be utilized at any time in any school situation where a reasonable expectation of personal privacy exists. These locations and circumstances include but are not limited to locker rooms, shower facilities, restrooms, classrooms, and any other areas where students or others may change clothes or be in any stage or degree of disrobing or changing clothes. The building principal has authority to make determinations as to other specific locations and situations where possession of a WCD is absolutely prohibited.
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 District 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 District 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.
Students may use school phones to contact parents/guardians during the school day.