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4155 Use of Electronic Devices

Adoption Date: 11/18/2004, Revised: 3/21/2012; 11/18/2012 
4000 - Personnel

4155 Use of Electronic Devices

Electronic communication devices such as cell phones, PDAs, iPods and similar devices (ECDs) have become a common means of communication and information access in today’s society. These devices, however, have the potential of disrupting the orderly operation of the schools and distracting from the District’s primary mission to educate the students in our schools in a safe and secure environment. While it is expected that employees will exercise common sense and good judgment in the use of ECDs during the work day and when their attention should be focused on the children, this policy is intended to give guidance to District employees with respect to the use of ECDs during the work day.

In order to ensure that students are able to receive the best possible educational experience and the attention they deserve, employees must keep personal ECDs turned off or muted during instructional time, while performing job functions and whenever students are under the employee’s direct or general supervision, whether in the classroom, hallway, cafeteria, playground, other District premises and facilities, and during student activities (on or off school premises). Employees may only use ECDs on school vehicles when the vehicle is parked and there are no children on the vehicle. In addition, employees must keep personal ECDs turned off during meetings and presentations so that important information can be received, understood and shared without interruption, unless prior permission has been granted by the building principal or other administrator in charge to receive an expected telephone call. 

This policy shall not apply to the use by employees of ECDs for instructional purposes such as calendaring and calculating or for use by student teachers of ECDs to videotape a classroom for meeting the requirements of the teacher performance assessment for certification. Further, this policy shall not apply to employees who, due to the requirements of their positions, such as travel throughout the District, or to locations or classrooms away from their regular office, must use cell phones or other portable means of communications. It is expected that these employees will generally keep such devices in the vibrate or mute position so as not to unduly interfere with the educational environment.

The inappropriate use of ECDs (such as threatening, vulgar or sexual messages) and the use of an ECD as a weapon are also prohibited.

The Board of Education prohibits the use by employees of the recording functions and capabilities of ECDs on school property, except for the purpose of photographing or videotaping public events (e.g., athletic events, plays, concerts, awards ceremonies) or for taking photographs for the Yearbook or School District publications, or for use by student teachers to videotape a classroom for meeting the requirements of the teacher performance assessment for certification. 

The Board of Education prohibits any form of photography, tape recording or video recording of any individual on school property or in school facilities without that individual’s knowledge, as well as the dissemination of any photograph or recording without the individual’s permission. In no event shall any individual take photographs or make a recording in a zone where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, including but not limited to locker rooms, lavatories, nurse’s office. In addition, the Board prohibits possessing, viewing, sending or sharing pictures or text having sexual content (“sexting”) in school or at school activities, or from off-campus sites and which are received at school or school activities. 

Any employee who violates this policy shall be subject to discipline in accordance with law and any applicable collectively negotiated agreement.

The decision to bring ECDs to school or school sponsored events rests with the individual employee and, therefore, the responsibility for such devices rests solely with the individual employee. The School District discourages bringing ECDs to school. The School District assumes no responsibility or liability whatsoever in the event that an ECD is damaged, misplaced or stolen during the school day, when on school property or when in attendance at a school sponsored event, whether on or off of school property. The School District further assumes no responsibility or liability for any communication bill associated with the authorized or unauthorized use of said devices.

Policy Cross References:
5137 - Use of Electronic Devices