MECHANIC FALLS — The Regional School Unit 16 board of directors Monday night approved a revised policy on student use of cellphones and other electronic devices.

Students will be prohibited from using “privately-owned” personal electronic devices such as cellphones, smartphones, hand-held computers, MP3 players and electronic games at school or at school activities. The exception is if a teacher or building principal authorizes use for a specific purpose.

Appropriate times and places may be designated by school administrators when electronic devices can be used — such as lunch, study halls or on school buses.

The devices are strictly prohibited in locker rooms, bathrooms and other places where “privacy is generally” expected.

“Permission must be granted before photographing/videoing/recording another person during the school day and at school sponsored events,” according to the policy.

The policy also prohibits the use of any device that “violates board policy or school rules,” including harassment, cheating and student code of conduct. The device may be confiscated for the rest of the day if board policy or a school rule is violated. The policy further states, “student cellphones and other electronic devices may be subject to search if there is reasonable suspicion of a violation.”

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Violations of the policy or school rules may include: confiscation until the end of the school day, meeting with the student’s parent/guardian, suspending student’s use the device for an extended length of time, possible suspension or expulsion from school, and contacting law enforcement.

In other business, the board of directors signed the warrant for monetary assessments to RSU 16 towns for 2018-19. Voters passed a $22.3 million budget June 12.

The board also certified the budget votes from Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland.

Monday’s meeting at the Elm Street School was the last as superintendent for Tina Meserve. She will be superintendent of RSU 9 in Farmington starting July 1.

Kenneth Healey will become superintendent of RSU 16 on July 1.

Poland Regional High School. (Sun Journal file photo)


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