Use of Wireless Communication
Policy Code 4318
The Jackson County Board of Education recognizes that cellular phones have become an important tool through which people communicate with their children. Therefore, students are permitted to possess cellular phones and other wireless communication devices on school property as long as such devices are not activated, used, displayed or visible during the instructional day or as otherwise directed by local school rules or school personnel. Wireless communication devices include, but are not limited to, cellular phones, paging devices, two-way radios, i-Pods, MP3 players, media and similar devices.
A. Authorized Use
Administrators may authorize individual students to use wireless communication devices for personal purposes when there is a reasonable need for such communication. Teachers and administrators may authorize individual students to use the devices for instructional purposes provided that they supervise the students during such use.
Though generally use is permitted during non-instructional hours, use of cellular phones and other wireless communication devices may be prohibited on school buses when noise from such devices interferes with the safe operation of the buses. In addition, elementary and middle school students who participate in after-school programs are prohibited from using wireless communication devices for the duration of such programming.
B. Consequences for Unauthorized Use
School employees may immediately confiscate any wireless communication device that is on, used, displayed or visible in violation of this policy. Absent compelling and unusual circumstances, confiscated wireless communication devices will be returned only to the student's parent or guardian.
The disciplinary consequences for violations of this policy shall be consistent with Section D of policy 4300, Student Behavior Policies. The superintendent or designee shall list in the Code of Student Conduct the specific range of consequences that may be imposed on a student for violations of this policy.
The following factors should be considered when determining appropriate consequences: whether the wireless communication device was used: (1) to reproduce images of tests, to access unauthorized school information or to assist students in any aspect of their instructional program in a manner that violates any school board policy, administrative regulation or school rule; and (2) to bully or harass other students; (3) to send illicit text messages; (4) to take and/or send illicit photographs; or (5) in any other manner that would make more severe disciplinary consequences appropriate.
C. Search of Wireless Communication Devices
In accordance with policy 4342, Student Searches, a student’s wireless communication device and its contents, including, but not limited to, text messages and digital photos, may be searched whenever a school official has reason to believe the search will provide evidence that the student has violated or is violating a law, board policy, the Code of Student Conduct or a school rule. The scope of such searches must be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the nature of the suspected infraction.
Students are personally and solely responsible for the security of their wireless communication devices. The school system is not responsible for the theft, loss or damage of a cellular phone or any other personal wireless communication device.
Adopted: April 28, 2009
Updated: August 23, 2011