Cellular Phone & Electronic Telecommunication Device Use for Students Use for Students

  • The St. Mary Parish School Board is dedicated to providing a healthy educational environment to public school students. The School Board recognizes that the use of cellular telephones with their rapidly developing technological advances, which now include text messaging, photography, and other features, can impair the validity of classroom assessments, violate student privacy, possibly detonate explosive devices, hamper the efforts of administrators charged with maintaining a safe and productive school environment, and severely disrupt the educational process.

    No student, unless authorized by the school principal or his/her designee, shall use or operate any cellular telephone or other electronic telecommunication device, including but not limited to any facsimile system, radio paging service, mobile telephone service, intercom, electromechanical paging system, cameras, video tape recorders, MP3 player, all Bluetooth-enabled devices, watches, Apple watches, Fitbits, headphones, electronic pagers, writing tablets, any other smart device or similar electronic telecommunication device, etc., in any public elementary or secondary school building or on the grounds thereof, or on a school bus, during the regular academic day. 

    Unless authorized by the school principal or his/her designee, any cellular telephones and/or other electronic telecommunication device in use or operation during the regular academic day shall be confiscated by a faulty or staff member at the time of the infraction. A student's refusal to relinquish this device shall result in the student being recommended for expulsion. The confiscated device shall be held in the school's office, and the student's parents or guardian shall be contacted. Parents shall be allowed to retrieve the device before, or at the end of, the regular academic day.

    A properly-authorized medical device worn by a student shall not be considered a violation of this policy. 

    Nothing in this policy shall prohibit the use or operation by any person, including students, of any cellular telephone or other electronic telecommunication device in the event of an emergency. 

    As used in this policy the terms below shall be defined as follows:

    • An emergency means an actual or imminent threat to public health or safety that may result in loss of life, injury, or property damage. 
    • Use or operation of a cellular telephone or other electronic telecommunication device means the device is being held by a student, or is turned on, makes an audible sound, or is in a mode capable of receiving or transmitting signals. 
    • The regular academic day shall begin at the time students arrive on campus prior to the tardy bell, and conclude upon the dismissal bell at the end of the day. 

    • Students in Grades PreK - 5 
      Electronic Telecommunication Devices are not permitted on campus during regular school hours for any reason for students in PreK - 5th grades. The regular academic day or school ours are defined as the time a student arrives on campus until the final dismissal bell.
      • Consequences for Violation: All offenses--The electronic telecommunication device/cell phone will be confiscated by school officials; parent will be contacted to sign for a release of the device within 24 hours.

    • Students in Grades 6 - 12
      • Use or operation of electronic telecommunication devices is not permitted on any school bus used to transport public school students.
      • Use or operation of electronic telecommunication devices is not permitted from the time students arrive on campus until the final dismissal bell rings.  Electronic telecommunication device usage for any purpose is not permitted during school hours. The regular academic day school hours are defined as the time a student arrives on campus until the final dismissal bell. Use or operation includes but is not limited to the following:
        • Any visual and/or audible signal during school hours, and/or the pone is turned on.
        • Talking, sending or receiving text messages, listening to music, taking or receiving pictures/video on the phone.
      • Students choosing to bring an electronic telecommunication device to campus must secure it in the off position completely powered down in a car or school locker during school hours.
      • Students assigned to after-school detention or any type of after-school detention or any type of after-school class or tutoring, etc., will follow their school's specific policy. If the school doesn't have a specific policy, the students will power their phones/electronic telecommunication devices off before entering the class and leave them off inside their pockets, bookbags, or binders, etc., until the class is dismissed.
      • Extra-curricular organization sponsors will specify the guidelines that allows or doesn't allow members to use their electronic telecommunication devices/cell phones during after-school practice sessions or at games or events, etc.
      • Consequences for Violation: 
        • First offense: The electronic telecommunication device/cell phone will be confiscated by school officials. Parent will be contacted to sign a release of the device with 24 hours. 
        • Second offense: The electronic telecommunication device will be confiscated by school officials. Parent will be contacted to sign a release of the device within 24 hours. The students will be assigned detention.
        • Subsequent offense: The electronic device/cell phone will be confiscated by school officials. Parents will be contacted to sign a release of the device within 24 hours. The student will receive one (1) day of in-school suspension per subsequent offense. 
        • Failure to release the electronic telecommunication device/cell phone to school officials for violating the policy will result in a suspension pending a hearing with the Child Welfare and Attendance officials.
        • All confiscated electronic telecommunication devices will be held securely in the school's office.

    Emergency Crisis Electronic Telecommunication Device/Cell Phone Policy

    Nothing in this policy shall prohibit the use and operation by any person, including students, of any electronic telecommunication device in the event of an emergency. Emergency shall mean an actual or imminent threat to public health or safety that may result in loss of life, injury, or property damage.

     

    Reviewed 07/16/2021
    Kenneth Holmes