Darlington County School District Policy
POSSESSION/USE OF STUDENT-OWNED ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Code JICJ Issued 5/16
Purpose: To establish the basic structure for the use of electronic devices owned by students in school.
This policy is intended to ensure that personal electronic devices on district and school property do not interfere with the learning, safety, and wellbeing of students and staff.
For the purposes of this policy, a personal electronic device is any device that emits any audible signal, vibrates, displays any message or video image, or is otherwise capable of sending, receiving, emitting, photographing, recording, storing or displaying any type of audio or visual communication, files, or data. This includes, but is not limited to, cellular phones, smartphones, earphones, camera phones, camera devices, video and audio recording devices, digital recording devices, scanning devices, personal digital assistants (PDAs), MP3 players, iPods, iPads, tablets, computers, radios, pagers, any device that allows the possessor to access the Internet, or any similar device or any accessories to such devices such as earphones and Bluetooth devices.
Primary or elementary students may not display or use a personal electronic device while on school property or attending a school-related activity, whether on or off school property, during the regular school day. The student-owned device must be powered off during the school day.
The district will make an exception to this rule if the student needs the device for a legitimate medical reason. The principal must have written/approved evidence of the student's medical need on file.
Middle and High School Students
Students may possess or use personal electronic devices on school property, on school buses, or at school-sponsored events only as follows:
- The personal electronic device may be used before school until the beginning school day bell/signal. The device may be used during the student lunch period. The device will also be allowed after school denoted by the ending school day bell/signal.
- The parent/legal guardian and student must have signed and submitted a Personal Electronic Device Acceptance of Responsibility, Appropriate Use, and Permission Form.
These devices may not be used to cause any disruption in the educational process or for unethical or illegal purposes. Prohibited uses include, but are not limited to, cheating on assignments and/or tests, harassing or bullying others, and taking and/or distributing unauthorized photographs or recordings of other people. Any student who takes or distributes pictures or recordings of individuals without their permission risks invasion of privacy and harassment lawsuits in civil courts. The student may also face criminal prosecution. These devices may not be used to reproduce copyrighted material, which can lead to penalties under copyright laws.
These devices will never be used to violate a person’s expectation of privacy in areas including, but not limited to, health rooms, restrooms, locker rooms, dressing rooms, school offices, or in any other areas of any school where use is not expressly authorized (red zones).
These devices will not be used to access, view, download, upload, share, transmit, or receive any obscene, threatening, harassing, or otherwise inappropriate material via the Internet, email, text or instant messaging, or other form of electronic communication. Students are prohibited from using these devices for any activity prohibited by the district’s code of conduct, to circumvent district network security and internet blocks or filters, to access or view Internet sites that are otherwise blocked from student access at school, or for any unauthorized access to or inappropriate use of the district’s computer network. The district will monitor student access to the district network and any online activities conducted on its property.
Any student who uses one of these devices for any unethical and/or illegal purpose will have the device confiscated and be subject to referral to law enforcement.
Students will assume all responsibility and risks relating to their possession and use of their personal electronic devices, including any and all data and content at all times. District employees will not be responsible to store, support, safeguard, or troubleshoot any student personal electronic devices. Neither the district nor its trustees, administrators, or employees will be responsible, or liable for, the theft, loss, data loss, damage, destruction, misuse, or vandalism of any student’s personal electronic device brought onto district or school property.
Students who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary actions as defined by the student code of conduct (policy JICDA) and Student Behavior Guidelines for the first violation. Subsequent, multiple violations and/or illegal unethical use of a personal electronic device may result in forfeiture of the device, multi-day suspension, alternative school placement, expulsion, and/or prosecution.
The devices will remain silent during instructional time. However, teachers and school administrators, at their discretion, may allow students to use personal electronic devices for instructional and educational purposes, provided such use is in accordance with the district’s technology use policies. These devices will remain silent and not be used in testing areas. Students with documented disabilities or exceptional needs who require the use of personal electronic devices during the school day must coordinate their use in advance with their teachers and school administrators.
Students may use personal electronic devices prior to school, during, and after the instructional day in designated green zones.
At the high school level, students are permitted to use mobile devices in the cafeteria during their lunch periods green zones.
School personnel will have the authority to allow students to use electronic devices such as, but not limited to, cell phones, laptops, iPods, iPads, and eBooks for instructional purposes within the confines of the classroom.
An area designated as a “red zone” indicates that any personal device, permitted or otherwise, is strictly prohibited. A classroom designated as a red zone may ask that all personal devices be placed in a predetermined location or out in plain sight but turned off and not in use. All restrooms and locker rooms are designated as red zones. Hallways will be designated as a red zone during school hours.
An area designated as a “green zone” indicates that personal devices may be in use for school related tasks as permitted and directed by school personnel. At lunch time, the cafeteria will be designated as a green zone.
Adopted 12/17/91; Revised 10/14/02, 5/8/06, 5/14/12, 5/9/16
A. S.C. Code, 1976, as amended:
1. Section 59-63-280 - Possession of paging devices by public school students; mobile telephones included; adoption of policies.