Cell phones that do more than ring
Most school districts have technology policies, but not all policies address current technology.
For example, cellular phones can now serve as individual multimedia centers. They allow you to talk, text, access the Internet, photograph, and to record audio and video. Outdated technology policies that addressed the use of earlier versions of cell phones during class time did not envision all the functions the new phones can perform. There may be resources you can use in spite of this.
If a student surreptitiously uses a cell phone during class time to photograph or record a teacher, it may be disruptive of an atmosphere that sustains and encourages orderly learning. In this regard, it could be a violation of the district’s discipline, safety, or conduct policies, even if the technology policy is not current.
Another potential misuse of cell phone technology occurs if students send classmates
text messages of answers to test questions. This may be covered under your district's academic dishonesty policy.
If there is a technology gap in your district’s policies, this is a matter of employee and public interest that should be addressed by the school board. If you need assistance in presenting such matters for district review, please contact MSTA at (800) 392-0532.
Once a week, MSTA’s legal team will post a new pointer to help you be proactive in preventing and addressing matters that sometimes lead to legal concerns. Of course, we will continue to provide our legal services to members who contact us through the regular channels.
The information in this site is for educational purposes only. The information contained here does not constitute legal advice, and the use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you have a confidential legal matter to discuss, please contact the Legal Services Department at (800) 392-0532. We would be happy to help you.
Legal briefs archive