Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Codes of Conduct: Technology Use and Cell Phone Policies

The internet has vastly expanded educational resources and opportunities for students and teachers. Students use the internet as a research tool and a means of communicating. In this digital era, the use of technology has become a significant part of education.

Public schools create specific guidelines about technology use. These rules help promote a safe and productive learning environment. These guidelines are often included in the student code of conduct. They outline the appropriate usage of electronic devices within the school setting. Some rules may also extend outside of campus with the use of social media.

This article provides a brief overview of technology policies in the student code of conduct.

Student Code of Conduct: Technology Use

School administrators and the board of education create policies allowing technology use. This can include using laptops and other electronic devices for educational purposes. These guidelines also outline the limitations of internet access during school hours. These rules help prevent classroom distractions and misuse.

While technology offers learners immense benefits, misuse can disrupt the educational program. As a result, there may be harm to the school community. Disciplinary action may be taken against students who violate these rules. Infractions could include unauthorized entry into school databases. This may be to access or alter student information. Using school-provided devices for non-educational activities can also violate the code.

Many school districts provide students with their email accounts. Some educators believe email has become essential for students. They argue students should be trusted with the responsibility of an email. Software programs that filter email and websites are often installed on school devices.

Acceptable Use Policies in the Student Code of Conduct

School districts offering email accounts to students establish acceptable-use policies. This helps maintain good "netiquette" among students. An acceptable-use policy sets rules for when and how students can use the internet and email. Typically, students are expected to use appropriate language. They must avoid off-limit sites and chat rooms. They also must refrain from misuse of email, such as spamming, which is sending unsolicited emails to hundreds of email addresses at a time.

Students are also prohibited from using internet information inappropriately. For example, students may not download term papers or plagiarize from websites. Students are advised that the school has the right to review all electronic correspondence. Anyone violating those rules can be disciplined. A student's internet privileges can be revoked for serious or repeat offenses. Both students and parents are usually required to sign onto the acceptable use policy.

Student Code of Conduct: Cell Phone Use

The use of cell phones during school activities is generally limited. This helps to prevent disruption in the learning environment. While policies vary, most schools allow students to carry cell phones. However, they may make students turn off or silence their phones during school hours.

In cases where cell phones are used inappropriately, disciplinary action may occur. There may be more serious consequences for cell phone use that infringes on student rights. Threatening others' well-being can result in harsh punishments.

Student Code of Conduct: Social Media Policy

Social media policies aim to protect students from harmful online interactions. These policies also protect school personnel and school staff, and are put into place to prevent online interactions from affecting the school environment. These guidelines and provisions encourage respectful communication and prohibit cyberbullying. They may discourage sharing private phone numbers or personal details without consent.

Violations of social media policies can lead to disciplinary action. This is regardless of whether the post was made off-campus or in school during the school day. These violations can adversely affect the school setting or other educational services.


Federal and state laws, such as Title IX, protect students from harassment. This includes protecting students from cyberbullying based on sexual orientation, gender, or other protected classifications. Cyberbullying can cause significant mental health issues. Cyberbullying can also disrupt the student's ability to learn.

School officials can issue behavior interventions when notified of such behavior. Staff members might also issue referrals for special education, or the school board may involve law enforcement in cases of severe harassment. Law enforcement may intervene to prevent bodily injury.

Violations of the Student Code of Conduct

Elementary school and middle school students might have different procedures for violations. Likewise, middle school students and high school students may have differing procedures. Generally, the procedure includes:

  • Investigations: School officials will investigate the alleged violation. This could involve reviewing electronic communication records or posts on social media platforms.
  • Meetings: The student is usually asked to attend a meeting. At this meeting, they can explain their actions. This meeting often includes school staff and the student's parents.
  • Decision: Based on the findings of the investigation and the student's explanation, a decision is made about the violation.
  • Sanctions: If a student is found to have violated the school rules, there may be consequences. Sanctions can consist of losing technology privileges on school property and school grounds, or more severe consequences like suspension.

The Department of Education stipulates that serious violations must be addressed promptly. This might include cyberbullying or sexual harassment. Schools aim to maintain a safe and respectful environment throughout the school year. This can include the student's use of technology.

By understanding and respecting the technology policies, students can help foster a positive and productive learning environment. For more information about violations, visit FindLaw's Student Codes of Conduct: Serious Violations and Violence page.

Getting Legal Help With Student Code of Conduct Violations

If a student or parent/guardian feels that disciplinary action over technology misuse is unjust, they have the right to due process. This right involves presenting their case to a designee, such as a school principal or another staff member appointed by the school board.

Parents or legal guardians can also seek external legal help. Lawyers can help advocate for your child's rights under federal and state laws.

Talk to an education attorney today.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps

Contact a qualified education attorney to help you navigate education rights and laws.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select
Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options