It’s a case of good news, bad news for students and their cellphones as a new policy will allow high school students to carry their phones to school with them, but won’t allow them to use the devices during school hours.
Under the new policy approved by the Warren County School Board, students at Warren County High School can carry their phones with them on campus as long as they leave them in their bookbags or lockers and are not actively using them during school hours.
“The essence of this policy is that students who are in extracurricular activities after school can have their phones with them in case they need to use them to call parents or family after school hours,” said School Board member Bill Zechman. “This policy is not to suggest students can have their phones out at school talking and texting. This is for a convenience factor for those participating in extracurricular activities only.”
The policy expressly forbids the use of phones, even during breaks between classes, without the permission of a teacher. Violations of the ban can result in the student’s phone being confiscated. However, provided the student, or his parents, have deep pockets, a student who has a phone taken, usually for a period of two weeks, can ransom it back before then for a payment of $20. The money collected goes into a fund to help with extracurricular activities.
“I suppose there’s no limit on how many times you can ransom out a phone, but pretty soon that’d be a pretty expensive bill,” Zechman said, noting the best policy is simply to follow school policy.
In addition to having the power to confiscate phones from those who abuse the rule, school officials also have the right to examine a phone’s contents to find out when, and to whom, any texts or calls were made. This part of the policy was put in place to take away any deniability by the student about a violation of policy.
The policy further states if any banned or illegal material is found on the phone it can result in the student’s further punishment or even, in extreme cases, result in the case being turned over to law enforcement.