Students are now experiencing new guidelines when it comes to cell phone usage on campus.
Cell phones have transformed from a district nuisance to a teaching tool. With teacher approval, students are now permitted to use their cell phones during class lessons. Even so, the original rules still apply: if the phone becomes a distraction, it will be picked up. Some of the details of the original policy have been changed to enforce the seriousness of the administrators.
“It was a change from central office. Students are using [phones] for more things. [Phones] have become more common and students are being able to access technology at [their] fingertips and access it during class,” AP Elaine Maze said.
The phone policy holds three main consequences.
“The first [offense], we call the parent. Second time we pick it up for the semester,” Principal John Mehlbrech said.
On the third offense, the cell phone will be taken up for the remainder of the school year. However, for long breaks and holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas, students may receive their phone back for the duration.
“During major holidays, we’ll give phones back. There might be issues, so I might give phones back on the condition that on Monday morning [students] give it back for the rest of the semester. It’s a way of students being safe during the holidays, because some parents still work and they need to keep track of their kids,” Mehlbrech said.
A major concern for students is the possibility of their cell phones being sent back to the distributor.
“We don’t do that,” Mehlbrech said. “At the end of the year if [the phone is] not claimed, it might be sent back. We don’t want to be responsible to keep it in a storage bin forever.”
Students are allowed to use their phones and music devices on campus outside of school hours and during lunch.
“[Students] can use [phones] wisely and appropriately,” Maze said. “[The] world has changed, [students] live in a technology world.”