Electronic Device Policy, effective Nov. 1, 2022
The Harrisburg School District’s Electronic Device policy #237, which was board approved on November 21, 2021 reads as follows:
The Board adopts this policy in order to maintain an educational environment that is safe and secure for district students and employees.
Electronic devices shall include all devices that can take photographs; record audio or video data; store, transmit or receive messages or images; or provide a wireless, unfiltered connection to the Internet. Examples of these electronic devices include, but shall not be limited to, radios, walkmans, CD players, iPods, MP3 players, DVD players, handheld game consoles, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), cellular telephones, BlackBerries, and laptop computers, as well as any new technology developed with similar capabilities.
The Board prohibits use of electronic devices by students during the school day in district buildings; on district property; on district buses and vehicles; during the time students are under the supervision of the district; and in locker rooms, bathrooms, health suites and other changing areas at any time.
The Board prohibits possession of laser pointers and attachments and telephone paging devices/beepers by students in district buildings; on district property; on district buses and vehicles; and at school-sponsored activities.
The district shall not be liable for the loss, damage or misuse of any electronic device.
Despite repeated reminders regarding this policy, scholars continue to utilize cell phones throughout the day, causing major safety concerns, distractions, and disruptions to the teaching and learning process. In many cases, they are blatantly disregarding teachers’ requests to put devices away. As a result, beginning November 1, 2022, Rowland will be a CELL-PHONE-FREE SCHOOL. We strongly encourage scholars to leave their cell phones at home. Those scholars who choose to bring their phones to school, should expect the following:
- Each morning, scholars will be asked to place their phones in a secure box. It is not optional.
- The box will be locked and taken, by the homeroom teacher, to the classroom the scholars will attend last period.
- At the end of the day, the last-period teacher will return all cell phones to scholars just before dismissal.
Storing the devices in a secure location prevents students from texting and engaging with social media sites throughout the day. We have discovered that most altercations that have escalated during school hours have done so because opposing parties were sending each other threatening messages via social media or text messaging during the day. Removing access to these types of communications will help Rowland to build a safer environment. Additionally, without the distraction of cell phones, students would focus more on instruction and academic achievement.
Finally, when the devices are secured, it reduces the possibility that they will be lost or stolen. Remember, Rowland is not responsible for devices that are brought to school. We will not invest time and personnel on investigating lost or stolen phones.
Students who do not comply with the policy above face the following consequences:
- When a student refuses to place their device in the lock box it will be considered an act of defiance and subject to progressive disciplinary action.
- When a phone is seen throughout the day, it will be confiscated and stored in the main office.
- After the 1st offense, the scholar will receive a warning and get the phone back at the end of the day.
- The second offense will result in time spent in the Restore and Reset room. A parent will need to come to the office to pick up the phone.
- For the third and subsequent offenses, the scholar will be assigned out-of-school suspension. The phone will be confiscated and a parent will need to meet with an administrator to get the phone back.