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Pleasanton USD |  BP  5131.8  Students

Mobile Communication Devices   

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The Governing Board recognizes that the use of smartphones and other mobile communication devices on campus may be beneficial to student learning and well-being, but could be disruptive of the instructional program in some circumstances. The Board permits limited use of mobile communication devices on campus in accordance with law and the following policy.

(cf. 0450 - Comprehensive Safety Plan)

(cf. 5131.2 - Bullying)

(cf. 5131.4 - Student Disturbances)

(cf. 5131.9 - Academic Honesty)

(cf. 5137 - Positive School Climate)

(cf. 5141.52 - Suicide Prevention)

(cf. 6163.4 - Student Use of Technology)

Students may use cell phones, smart watches, pagers, or other mobile communication devices on campus during non-instructional time as long as the device is utilized in accordance with law and any rules that individual school sites may impose.

Mobile communication devices shall be turned off, or set to "Do Not Disturb," during instructional time, with the following exceptions: (Education Code 48901.5, 48901.7)

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

2. When a teacher or administrator grants permission to the student to possess or use a mobile communication device, subject to any reasonable limitation imposed by that teacher or administrator

3. When a licensed physician or surgeon determines that the possession or use is necessary for the student's health and well-being. For example, the specific accommodation may be documented in a student's health plan, or 504 Plan

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

(cf. 6159 - Individualized Education Program)

Smartphones and other mobile communication devices shall not be used in any manner which infringes on the privacy rights of any other person.

When a school official 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)

When a student uses a mobile communication device in an unauthorized manner, the student may receive student discipline and a district employee may confiscate the device. The employee shall store the device securely until it is returned to the student or turned over to the principal or designee, as appropriate.

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.

The Superintendent or designee shall inform students that the district will not be responsible for a student's mobile communication device which is brought on campus or to a school activity and is lost, stolen, or damaged.

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: February 25, 2020 Pleasanton, California