Prohibiting Cell Phones in K-12 Classrooms

NOTE: Prior to task force meetings, ALEC posts these legislative member-submitted draft model policies to our website. The draft model policies are then discussed, debated, and voted on by ALEC task force members. Policies that receive final approval by legislators on the ALEC Board of Directors become official ALEC model policy. Draft model policies that fail to become official ALEC model policy are removed from the website.

Summary

This model requires K-12 public school students to deposit their mobile phones in a secure container at the beginning of each instructional day. Students can retrieve their device from the secure container at the end of the instructional day. Exceptions are made for students who may have a need for their mobile device (for example, students with diabetes or other medical conditions who require access to their cell phone for medical purposes).

Prohibiting Cell Phones in K-12 Classrooms

Section 1. Definitions.

(A) “Mobile device” means a personal mobile telephone or other portable electronic communication device, not owned by a public school entity or issued by a public school entity to a student, with which a user engaged in a call or writes or sends a message or a device in which the user plays a game or watches a video.

(B) “Public school entity” means a school district, area career and technical school, intermediate unit, charter school, cyber charter school or regional charter school.

(C) “School day” means the length of time that a child subject to compulsory school attendance is expected to be receiving instruction during a calendar day, as determined by the governing body.

Section 2. Possession and Use of Mobile Devices.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a student of a public school entity may not possess or use a mobile device during the school day in a school building of the public school entity.

(B)

(a) Upon entering the school building at the beginning of the school day, a student who has in the student’s possession a mobile device shall deposit the mobile device in a lockbox, case or pouch with a locking mechanism or other secure location for the duration of the school day.

(b) At the end of the school day, the student may retrieve the mobile device from the lockbox, case, pouch or other secure location.

(c) Subsections A and B shall not apply to a student if:

(i) The student:

(1) Is a member of a volunteer fire company, ambulance or rescue squad;

(2) Has a need for the mobile device due to the medical condition of the student or an immediate family member of the student;

(3) Has a disability;

(4) Is an English language learner and uses the mobile device for translation purposes; or

(5) Is at a scheduled lunch period.

(ii) An authority of the public school entity approves of the possession and use of the mobile device by the student during the school day in a school building of the public school entity.

(d) A public school entity shall develop or update its written policies to implement this section. The written policies shall include a process for students and parents to contact each other during the school day.