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Orinda Union SD |  BP  5131.8  Students

Mobile Communications Devices   

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Personal electronic signaling devices (including cellular/digital telephones and smart watches) may not be used at any time during school hours without the express consent of an administrator, teacher, or other District employee. Electronic signaling devices shall be powered off (not left in the vibrating mode) and stored in backpacks. Students may use the school office phone to contact parents/guardians if needed. Additional stipulations are as follows:

1. Students are responsible for the personal electronic signaling devices they bring to school. The school/District shall not be responsible for loss, theft, or destruction of any such device brought onto school property.

2. TK-5th Grade Students: In addition to the regular school day, personal electronic signaling devices may not be used during BASC (Before and After School Club) hours. To promote safety, students are prohibited from using cellular phones and other personal electronic signaling devices during drop off and pick up times.

3. 6th-8th Grade Students: Personal electronic signaling devices are not to be displayed during the school day except when being used for a valid instructional or other school-related purpose as determined by the teacher or other District employee.

4. No student shall use an electronic signaling device with a camera, video, or voice recording function in a way or under circumstances which infringe upon the privacy rights of others. (Education Code 51512; Penal Code 647)

5. If a student's use of an electronic signaling device violates this policy, a school or District employee may direct the student to turn off and store the device and/or confiscate the device. Students may be subject to other disciplinary measures in accordance with board policy and administrative regulation.

No student shall be prohibited from possessing or using an electronic signaling device that is determined by a licensed physician or surgeon to be essential for the student's health and the use of which is limited to health-related purposes. (Education Code 48901.5)

A student shall not be prohibited from possessing or using a mobile communication device under any of the following circumstances: (Education Code 48901.5, 48901.7)

1. In case of emergency, or in response to a perceived threat of danger

2. When a licensed physician or surgeon determines that the possession or use is necessary for the student's health and well-being

3. When the possession or use is required by the student's individualized education program

(cf. 6159 - Individualized Education Program)

When a school reasonably suspects that a search of a student's mobile communication device will turn up evidence of the student's violation of the law or school rules, such a search shall be conducted in accordance with BP/AR 5145.12 - Search and Seizure.

(cf. 5145.12 - Search and Seizure)

(cf. 5145.2 - Freedom of Speech/Expression)

A student may also be subject to discipline, in accordance with law, Board policy, or administrative regulation, for off-campus use of a mobile communication device which poses a threat or danger to the safety of students, staff, or district property or substantially disrupts school activities.

Legal Reference:


200-262.4 Prohibition of discrimination

32280-32289 Comprehensive safety plan

35181 Governing board authority to set policy on responsibilities of students

35291-35291.5 Rules

44807 Duty concerning conduct of students

48900-48925 Suspension and expulsion, especially:

48901.5 Regulation of possession or use of electronic signaling devices

48901.7 Limitation or prohibition of student use of cell phones

51512 Prohibition against electronic listening or recording device in classroom without permission


1714.1 Liability of parents and guardians for willful misconduct of minor


288.2 Harmful matter with intent to seduce

313 Harmful matter

647 Use of camera or other instrument to invade person's privacy; misdemeanor

653.2 Electronic communication devices, threats to safety


23123-23124 Prohibitions against use of electronic devices while driving


300-307 Duties of students


1681-1688 Discrimination based on sex or blindness


J.C. v. Beverly Hills Unified School District (2010) 711 F.Supp.2d 1094

New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985) 469 U.S. 325

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969) 393 U.S. 503

Management Resources:


Safe Schools: Strategies for Governing Boards to Ensure Student Success, 2011

Cyberbullying: Policy Considerations for Boards, Policy Brief, July 2007


Bullying at School, 2003



California Department of Education, Safe Schools Office:

Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use:

National School Safety Center:

U.S. Department of Education:


adopted: June 10, 2019 Orinda, California

revised: December 9, 2019