SECTION 1. Chapter 71 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
(a) For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:--
“Personal device”, a technological device owned, leased, or lawfully possessed by a student that was not provided to the student by the school or school district.
“Technological device”, any computer, cellular phone, smartphone, digital camera, video camera, audio recording device, or other electronic device that can be used for creating, storing, or transmitting information in the form of electronic data.
“Third party”, any person or entity other than a school employee, student, or parent or legal guardian of a student.
(b) Educational institutions shall have the discretion to limit or prohibit the possession or use of certain personal devices by students on school property. A violation of such a limitation or prohibition shall not be the sole basis for a reasonable suspicion to access the device.
(c) No school employee or third party shall access any data or other content input into or stored upon a personal device of a student, notwithstanding any violation of school code of conduct provisions regarding possession or use of such device, unless:
(1) A school employee has a reasonable suspicion that a student has violated or is violating a separate provision of the code of conduct and that the device contains evidence thereof, subject to the following limitations:
(i) Searches of shall be conducted only of personal devices located on school property.
(ii) Prior to searching a student’s personal device based on reasonable suspicion, the school employee shall document such reasonable suspicion and notify the student and the student’s parent or legal guardian of the suspected violation and the type of data sought to be accessed in searching for evidence of the violation.
(iii) Searches of a student’s personal device based on reasonable suspicion shall be strictly limited to locating evidence of the particular suspected policy violation.
(iv) Where a student is suspected of conduct which is a criminal offense under the general laws, no search shall be undertaken without the authorization of a valid judicial warrant secured in accordance with subsection (c)(2), notwithstanding any suspected violation of the school code of conduct.
(2) Authorized by a valid warrant for the search of the device issued pursuant to the requirements of sections 2 through 3A of chapter 276; or
(3) Accessing a student’s personal device is necessary in response to an imminent threat to life or safety. Within 72 hours of accessing a personal device in response to an imminent threat to life or safety, the school employee or law enforcement official who accessed the device shall provide the student whose device was accessed, the student’s parent or legal guardian, and the educational institution a written description of the particular threat and the data accessed.
(d) Evidence or information obtained or collected in violation of this section shall not be admissible as evidence in any civil or criminal trial or legal proceeding, disciplinary action, or administrative hearing.
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