No new cell phone rules, but a renewed emphasis


Staff Report

Over the past few weeks, rumors have been flying about changes to the Brevard Public Schools cell phone policy. In a recent email to teachers, Principal Jackie Ingratta affirmed no changes to the existing Wireless Communication Device policy had been made. However, beginning February 27th, there will be a renewed emphasis on enforcing the existing policy.

BPS policy 5136 – Wireless Communication Devices states, in part:

  • Per BPS School Board Policy, students are prohibited from using cellphones/WCDs, except when approved by teacher for intentional instructional purposes only. Unless otherwise directed by teacher or administrator, cellphones/WCDs should be powered completely off or placed into vibrate or silent mode and stored out of sight. This includes the use of headphones, earbuds, or any device that may interfere with classroom instruction.
  • When authorized and approved by administration, students may use cellphones/WCDs before and after school, during their lunch break, in between classes, during after school activities, and at school-related functions, as long as they do not create a distraction or disruption to the educational environment.

Ms. Ingratta’s email went on to include the consequences for Edgewood students who violate the policy:

  • 1st infraction – Teacher warning
  • 2nd infraction – Teacher will collect the WCD for remainder of the period.
  • 3rd infraction – Teacher will collect the WCD and write a referral. The WCD will be turned over to administration. Administration will conference with student and parent. A loss of WCD privileges could follow. A parent/guardian will be required to pick up the WCD from the front office.
  • 4th infraction – Same procedure as 3rd; however, students will lose phone privileges for the next school day and/or suspension.
  • 5th infraction– Same as 3rd but student is suspended from school for the following day.

Students who refuse to turn over a WCD or engage in any form of insubordination will be subject to disciplinary action as Willfully Disobedient per the BPS Student Code of Conduct.

The email also reiterated that filming or recording students or staff without their permission will result in an out of school suspension and revocation of the student’s cellphone privileges for the remainder of the school year.

Ms. Ingratta also noted Edgewood does allow WCD use before and after school, during lunch, in between classes, and during extra-curricular activities as long as it does not create a disruption.

The BPS Wireless Communication Device policy language can be found on page 27 of  the 2022-2023 Code of Student Conduct.