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Policy FGAB-Student Conduct Policy Interfering Devices and Electronic Communication Devices

Policy FGAB-Student Conduct: Electronic Communication Devices (PDF)

Issue Date: June 11, 2015




While in some instances the possession and use of electronic communication devices or other electronic devices or objects by a student at a school may be appropriate, often the possession and use of such devices or objects by students at school can have the effect of distracting, disrupting, and intimidating others in the school setting and leading to opportunities for academic dishonesty and other disruptions of the educational process.  The purpose of this policy is to vest in school administrators the authority to enforce reasonable rules relating to such objects or devices in the public schools. Some electronic devices used by students may be owned by the District and provided to students for their use.  This policy also addresses standards for student use of such District-owned devices.


  1. Electronic devices  

  2. Any type of computer or computer-like device (for example, a tablet) or any device which is used for audio, video, or text communication or recording (such as            beepers, pagers, mobile phones with and without picture-taking capacity, smart phones, Blackberries, i-Phones, and )Hands-free devices (such as those using Bluetooth connections) connected to devices listed above in (a), and  Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-1.B (April 7, 2014) District-owned device: Any electronic device, which is owned by the District and issued, lent, or otherwise provided to a student by the District.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-1.D (April 7. 2014)

  1. Individualized suspicion: Information that individual has violated policy; This is generally required for constitutional search (including personal belongings); Exceptions are possible when privacy interests implicated by a search are minimal and where other safeguards are available; This standard in not as exacting in the public school setting as in criminal law.

  2. Instructional time: Hours during the school day designated by the school or school district.

  3. Lunch time: Time period in either elementary or secondary schools designated for lunch; This may, in elementary schools, be combined with a noon time recess.

  4. Medical reasons A student’s illness, with or without a health care professional’s documentation; A student’s recurring illness or medical problems(s).

  5. Parent/legal guardian The person(s) who has legal responsibility for the child’s education.

  6. Pass time The period designated in secondary schools between classes or to allow students to move between classrooms.

  7. Reasonable suspicion Reasonable suspicion need not be based on a single factor, but on totality of the circumstances; It can be based on the aggregate effect of all information available at time of search; It does not require absolute certainty, but only ‘sufficient probability,’ the sort of common-sense conclusion about human behavior upon which practical people are entitled to rely.

  8. Recess Time periods designated in elementary school for exercise or outside activity regardless of whether or not it is designated as instructional time by the school.

  9. School or school events This includes the hours that make up school day, e.g. from 7:40 a.m. until 2:30 pm., during students’ individual courses or during the entire period of the elementary/intermediate school day This includes field trips This includes extended school sponsored trips or activities This includes school-provided transportation to and from curricular activities and extracurricular activities, including athletic events

Use of District-Owned Devices

District-owned devices must be used in accordance with the specific rules and conditions related to the issuance of the device to the student, including rules on care and maintenance of the device, any restrictions on personal uses of the device, and rules relating to installation or use of software on the device.  Regardless of  location, use of District-owned devices must comply with Policy EBB (regarding internet use).  Policy FGAD (regarding bullying, cyber bullying, and hazing), and other student conduct policies.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-4(1)(b), (c), (f) (April 8, 2019)


District-owned devices are the responsibility of the students to whom they are issued, both with respect to loss or damage of the device and with respect to misuse of the device.  When the recipient student allows another to use a District-owned device, the recipient student is jointly responsible for any misuse of the device.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-4(2)(d) (April 8, 2019)


Students have no expectation of privacy regarding the contents or use of District-owned devices.  The devices shall have filtering software or other restrictions in place to prevent students from accessing inappropriate material.  However, the failure of such filtering software or mechanisms does not prevent a student from being disciplined for accessing inappropriate material.  Teachers or administrators may directly or remotely view, control, search, or otherwise access District-owned devices at any time.

District-owned devices remain the property of the District. Use of a District-owned device in violation of any District policy may result in the device being confiscated from the student, which may result in missed assignments, inability to complete required assessments, and possible loss of credit or academic grade consequences, in addition to any other appropriate disciplinary sanctions.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-4(2)(b), (4)(c) (April 8, 2019)

Use of Student Electronic Devices

Student electronic devices may be used during the school day, during school-sponsored activities or school-provided transportation as follows:

  1. Students may have electronic devices in their possession during the regular school day.

  2. During the school day if students intentionally use or respond to electronic devicesduring times of prohibited use identified by teachers, electronic devices may be confiscated.

  3. Devices may be retrieved by individuals designated by the school. Students may also be subject to school discipline.

  4. A school shall, by written policy, establish a warning schedule for student violations, which all school employees shall follow.Exceptions may be made for individual    students or for specific time periods as warranted.  Time periods shall be interpreted with flexibility.

  5. Student electronic devices must be either turned off or held in a secure place by the teacher, as determined by individual teacher, during class quizzes, tests and standardized assessments unless specifically allowed by statue, regulation, student IEP, or assessment directions.

            Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-4.B(1) (April 7, 2014)

  1. Student electronic devices inappropriately used or disclosed may be subject to search by school administrators based on reasonable suspicion.

[Policy may allow for differences based on grade levels or age of students.]

Exceptions to the above use limitations regarding student electronic devices policy shall be made consistent with District and school policies, but in the judgment and discretion of individual teachers. Specific potential exceptions are as following:

  1. Medical reasons

  2. School administrators may give permission for students to possess electronic devices for good cause shown if the devices do not distract from the instructional or education process.

  3. Parent request: Parent(s) may request that a student possess an electronic device on active mode at all times during the school day, with the exception of during course or subject tests and standardized assessments.  Teachers shall grant such requests for good cause shown. (Good cause may include medical needs or unusual family situations.)

  4. Parents shall make requests for exceptions to the school district/school policy to the school principal, designee or individual teacher.  Schools shall have forms available at the main office and in the counseling center for parent/student requests.

  5. Teacher permission: A teacher may permit a student to have an electronic device in his or her possession at all times during a regular school day, including during assessments, based on a written 504 plan, an IEP or legitimate circumstances as determined by the individual teacher.

  6. Emergency

  7. Students may use electronic devices in situations that threaten the health, safety or well-being of students (including themselves), school employees or others

        Utah Admin, Rules R277-495-4 (4)(d) (April 8, 2019)


Use of student electronic devices at school must comply with Policy EBB (regarding internet use). Regardless of location, use of student electronic devices in relation to other students, staff, or any individual connected with the school must comply with Policy FGAD (regarding bullying, cyber bullying, and hazing), and other student conduct policies.  Misuse of student electronic devices in a manner that causes disruption at school or school-sponsored activities may result in discipline under the school disciplinary policies (including where warranted suspension or expulsion) and may result in notification to law enforcement authorities.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-4 (2) (c), (e) (April 8, 2019)


Use of a student electronic device in violation of this or other District policies may result in confiscation of the device as provided herein and in such other disciplinary sanctions as provided for under this or other student conduct policies.  In addition, where such use is in violation or believed to be in violation of an applicable law, regulation, or ordinance, school administrators or teachers may notify law enforcement or other appropriate authorities and the student may be subject to criminal or other penalties provided by law.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-4(2)(c), (e) (April 8, 2019)


Consequences for Violation of Policy


A school may impose other consequences for a student’s violation of the electronic device policy only following notice of such policy to the school community.  Such penalties are not exhaustive and more than one penalty may be imposed, if warranted.  Such penalties may include:

  1. Loss of electronic device privileges

  2. Disciplinary letter

  3. In-school suspension

  4. Suspension

  5. Loss of extracurricular or honor privileges or recognition

If students are defiant and will not cooperate with school administrators and/or will not surrender electronic device(s), the designated school administrator may take appropriate action for the safety and well being of the student and other students or employees at the school.  The school principal or designee shall notify a parent immediately of additional penalties.

Notice to Students and Parents of Policy

A copy of this policy shall be made available in printed form at the District Office and a copy of this policy or a clear electronic link to this policy shall be made available on the District’s web site.  Individual school policies shall be made available in printed form at the school offices and a copy of those policies or a clear electronic link to those policies shall be made available on the school’s web site. Parents and students shall receive annual written notice of District and school electronic device policies, which may be satisfied by the website posting, publishing the policy in school handbook or directory, sending the policy to the student’s home or any other reasonable means.

Utah Admin Code R277-495-3(4), (5) (April 8, 2019)


Parents and students shall receive notice of changes in District or school electronic device policies in a timely manner and through reasonable means.

A copy of the most current policy shall always be available in the main office of the school and shall be posted online on the school website, if a school has a website.

Schools may require that parents return a copy of the policy with signature indicating that parents have had access to policy.

Information to parents should include exceptions to the policy and potential consequences for students. Information to parents shall provide clear information of how best to contact students during school hours or activities, in lieu of immediate contact by electronic device.

Students and parents shall be notified that law enforcement may be contacted, at school’s discretion, if circumstances warrant such contact.

Confiscated Student Electronic Devices

Only licensed school personnel (unless other employees are specifically identified in policy) may confiscate student electronic devices. Licensed school employees are discouraged from searching or reviewing materials or numbers stored on student devices except under compelling circumstances. Licensed school employees may search an electronic device if the device is found by the employee for the limited purpose of determining the device’s owner.

Schools will do their best to guard and protect confiscated student electronic devices, but are not responsible for loss, damage, or theft.

Schools will make a good faith effort to notify parent(s) or designated individuals that electronic device is in school’s possession and, time and resources permitting, will maintain possession of such devices until the end of the school year, at which time the school may dispose of the device.  Prior to disposal of devices, schools shall attempt to clear all personal data.

Creative and Innovative Uses for All Electronic Devices

Under the guidance of building principals, teachers and school staff may use electronic devices to develop and support effective and appropriate instructional practices that improve the learning environment for students and employees.

Other Provisions

Unauthorized picture taking or recording by students is strictly forbidden in school or school activity private areas, such as locker rooms, counseling sessions, restroom, and dressing areas. Students are further prohibited from using electronic devices to transmit any such recordings. Students are prohibited from using electronic devices to invade the reasonable privacy expectations of students or school staff or any person present at the school

Utah Admin. Rules R277-495-4(4)(a) (April 8, 2019)

Students bring electronic devices on school property or to school activities at their own risk.  The school is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged student electronic devices. 

Students are strictly responsible for their own electronic devices.  If devices are borrowed or taken and misused by non-owners, device owners are jointly responsible for the misuse or policy violation(s) committed with the device

Students and parents should be informed and understand that confiscated electronic devices may be subject to search by school officials.

A student’s penalties for violation(s) of an electronic device policy provision may vary depending upon the intentional nature of the violation, other disciplinary actions the student may have received and specific circumstances of the violation