The School Board is aware that parents and students use wireless communication devices (WCDs) to communicate with each other. However, the use of wireless communication devices (WCDs) on school grounds must be appropriately regulated to protect students, staff, and the learning environment. For purposes of this policy, "wireless 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, BlackBerry, iPhone, Android devices, Windows Mobile devices, smart watches, etc.), telephone paging devices (e.g., beepers or pagers), and/or other web-enabled devices of any type.
For purposes of this policy, “texting” includes, but is not limited to manually typing, using voice to text applications or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters on a device, for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, instant messaging, or similar activities.
Technology including, but not limited to, WCDs 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 principal. However, the use of a WCD to engage in non-education-related communications during instructional time is expressly prohibited.
Students may use WCDs before and after school, during their lunch break, in between classes, during after-school activities (e.g. extracurricular activities), at school-related functions, and while on the school bus provided such use does not create a distraction, disruption, or otherwise interfere with the educational environment. Distracting behavior that creates an unsafe environment will not be tolerated. Use of WCDs, except those approved by a teacher or administrator, at any other time is prohibited and the WCD must be stored out of sight. WCDs must be fully powered off during standardized tests and other times as directed by your teacher or administrator.
Except as authorized by a teacher, administrator, or Individual Education Plan (IEP) Team, students are prohibited from using WCDs during the school day, including while off-campus on a field trip or during any school-related activity, to capture, record or transmit the words or sounds (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, written consent for the capture, recording or transmission of such words or images. Using a WCD 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 WCD to make prohibited recordings or violate the privacy rights of another person may have their WCD confiscated and held until the end of the school day or until a parent/guardian picks it up, and may be directed to delete the audio and/or picture/video file while the parent/guardian is present. If the violation involves potentially illegal activity, the confiscated WCD may be turned over to law enforcement.
"Sexting" is prohibited at any time on school property or at school functions. As set forth in State law, sexting is the knowing transmission or distribution to another minor by a computer or similar device any photograph or video of any person that depicts nudity and is harmful to minors. Sexting also includes possessing a photo of any person that was transmitted or distributed by another minor that depicts nudity. Such conduct not only is potentially dangerous for the involved students, but also 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 and referral to law enforcement.
Pursuant to State law, students shall not operate a motor vehicle owned or leased by the district on or off school property, or personal motor vehicle on district property, while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a personal communication device or while sending or reading messages on such a device, for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, instant messaging, and snap chatting.
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, shower facilities, and/or rest/bathrooms.
Students may not use 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 and 5517 – Bullying and Harassment. In particular, students are prohibited from using WCDs 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, 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 (i.e., sexting) 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 WCD 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 WCDs to receive such information. Furthermore, students are prohibited from using WCDs in any manner that otherwise violates the Student Code of Conduct.
Possession of a WCD by a student at school during school hours and/or during extracurricular 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 WCD. Administration may 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 multiple offenses occur, a student may lose his or her privilege to bring a WCD to school for a designated length of time or on a permanent basis.
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, unless the violation involves potentially illegal activity in which case the WCD may be turned over to law enforcement. School officials will not search or otherwise tamper with WCDs in district custody unless they reasonably suspect that the WCD contains evidence of a violation of the law or other school rules. Any search will be conducted in accordance with Policy 5771 – Search and Seizure.
Students shall have no expectation of confidentiality with respect to their use of WCDs on school premises/property.
A person who discovers a student 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 to, misuse, or unauthorized use of WCDs brought onto its property, or the unauthorized use of such devices.
(PCSB 5136, F.S. 316.305, 847.0141)