Press Releases

TitleUniversity of San Diego Provides Guidelines for Electronic Communication Devices in Schools
ContactMelissa Wagoner
Contact E-mailmwagoner, at
Contact Phone(619) 260-4659

Guidelines address student misuse of devices on and off school grounds through cyberbullying, sexting, harassment

USD launches website, will host conference January 13, 2011

The University of San Diego’s (USD) Center for Education Policy and Law (CEPAL) has completed a research project focused on setting guidelines for student misuse of electronic communication devices (ECD) both on school grounds and off. The law is evolving in this area, and much uncertainty exists. The purpose of this new website is help California school personnel understand the issues involved in EDC use and prepare policies and discipline rules accordingly.

California educators are working to capitalize on student familiarization with electronic communication devices (ECDs) by incorporating them in teaching, learning, and communicating. ECDs include computers, pagers, cell phones, smartphones, portable game units, graphing calculators, and similar means of communicating electronically directly or through social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. The emerging field of law that handles abuse of these ECDs, however, has very few guidelines.

CEPAL has studied all relevant case law in this emerging new field, and made recommendations for schools, students and parents to follow as to what the proper use of ECDs are and the steps to take when abuses occur.

Student use of ECDs at school and away from school can be abused.  Using a cell phone to take pictures in school locker room, to cheat on a classroom test, or to engage in cyberbullying of other students are examples. Student misuse of ECDs poses new challenges for school personnel to impose discipline. This is particularly true for off-campus misuse, given student free speech rights in the use of personal devices away from school.

Included are the following resources:

CEPAL will host a forum on Student Misuse of Electronic Communication Devices. More information to follow soon.

For more information, please visit us at:

leading change at USD