The School Committee recognizes that many students possess personal electronic devices (PEDs), including mobile phones and other devices.  PEDs may not be used in any manner that disrupts the instructional process, is harmful to others, or violates School Committee policies or school rules.

 The Yarmouth School Department shall not be responsible for the loss, theft or damage to mobile phones or other electronic devices that students bring with them to school or school activities or use on school transportation.

 The following provisions apply to student use of cell phones and other electronic devices:

A. Students are prohibited from using privately-owned electronic devices including but not limited to mobile phones, MP3 players, handheld computers/PDAs, and electronic games at school or during school activities except when the teacher or building principal authorizes use for a specific educational, health or safety purpose, as indicated in each school’s student handbook.

B. The use of mobile phones, digital cameras, watches, or any PED as a recording device is strictly prohibited in locker rooms, bathrooms, and other places where privacy is generally expected.  In all other school locations, permission must be obtained before photographing or video- or audio-recording any other person.

C. Students shall not e-mail, post to the Internet or otherwise electronically transmit images or recordings of other individuals taken at school without first obtaining their permission.

D. School administrators may designate appropriate times, places, and reasons when mobile phones and other listening devices may be used (e.g., during lunch periods, study halls, or on school buses traveling to school activities).

E. The use of a mobile phone or other electronic device in any manner that violates School Committee policy or school rules is prohibited.  This includes but is not limited to violations of the student code of conduct.  If a School Committee policy or school rule is violated, the teacher or school administrator may confiscate the device for the remainder of the school day.  Student mobile phones and other electronic devices may be subject to search if there is reasonable suspicion of a violation.

F. Students who violate School Committee policy or school rules will be subject to disciplinary consequences which may include:

  1. Confiscation of the device until the end of the school day;

  2. A conference with the student’s parent/guardian;

  3. Exclusion of the device from school for an extended period of time;

  4. Penalties up to suspension or expulsion from school, depending upon the nature and circumstances of the violation and the student’s prior disciplinary record; and

  5. Referral to law enforcement.

G.  PEDs may be subject to search if there is reasonable suspicion that a student is violating School Committee policies, procedures or school rules, or engaging in other misconduct.

H. School administrators may confiscate a PED for as long as necessary to complete their investigation. Students violating these rules will be subject to discipline consistent with the nature of the offense and the student’s disciplinary record.

I. Evidence of illegal activities involving PEDs may be referred to appropriate law enforcement authorities, and a building administrator may give a device to law enforcement authorities upon request.

 The Superintendent/designee may develop additional rules to implement this policy.  The policy and rules will be communicated to students and parents through the student handbook and/or the student code of conduct.

Cross Reference: 
JIC–Student Code of Conduct
JIH–Questioning and Searches of Students

Adopted: March 23, 2023