The Anti-Big Brother Act, N.J.S.A. 18A:36-39, became effective July 1, 2013 and requires that a local public school district or charter school that furnishes a student with a laptop computer, cellular telephone, or other electronic device must provide the student with written or electronic notification that the electronic device may record or collect information on the student’s activity or the student’s use of the device if the electronic device is equipped with a camera, global positioning system, or other feature capable of recording or collecting information on the student’s activity or use of the device. Such notification must also include a statement that the school district or charter school shall not use any of the capabilities in a manner that would violate the privacy rights of the student or any individual residing with the student.
Pursuant to the new law, the parent or guardian of the student must acknowledge receipt of the school district or charter school’s notification. The school district or charter school must retain the acknowledgement as long as the student retains the use of the electronic device.
A school district or charter school that fails to provide the required notification is subject to a fine of $250 per student, per incident, which must be remitted to the Department of Education and deposited in a fund that must be used to provide laptop or other portable computer equipment to at-risk pupils.
Cooper Levenson is ready to assist administrators and school board members who have questions about the new law or who need help developing policies, regulations, or forms to ensure that their school districts comply with the law.