A school district had a policy that allowed students to bring their own smart phones, e-book readers and tablets to school. Under the terms of the policy, students were permitted to use the devices as they chose on campus outside of the classroom. The policy also allowed students to record classroom lectures and activities for instructional purposes, such as video projects or as make-up work for an absent student. A grievance was filed, arguing that this policy violated a provision of the Education Code that forbids a school district employee from making or authorizing the making of a recording of a student. The district denied the grievance and it was appealed to the commissioner of education.

The commissioner of education held that the policy did not violate the law to the extent that students were permitted to record each other in class. The law specifically contains an exception that allows recordings to be made for a purpose related to regular classroom instruction. The commissioner held that making a recording for oneself or for an absent student to study is for a purpose related to regular classroom instruction and was therefore allowable under this exception.

The portion of the policy that allowed students to make out-of-classroom recordings at school was not permitted under the law.