Cabarrus School Board approves limiting student use of cell phones and other devices

The Cabarrus County Board of Education, after weeks of debate and discussion, approved a new electronics policy at its Monday meeting that will limit students’ use of devices such as cell phones.

The changes will take effect next school year.

Under the approved amendments — which were developed by the district’s cell phone working group of teachers, parents, administrators and switchboard staff and a separate group of high school students before being reviewed by the policy committee — high school students are not allowed to use phones mobile phones or any other electronic/media devices during classes.

Students’ phones must be turned off and placed safely away from themselves, such as in a backpack or locker.

Students will be able to use their phones and other devices during non-class times, which include breakfast and lunch, arrival and gloom, and during class changes.

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Middle and elementary school students will not be allowed to use any devices throughout the day, although middle school students will be able to access them during after-school activities to communicate with their parents. Like their high school peers, these students will be required to turn off their cell phones and secure them from themselves.

Accommodations will be provided for students who need access to their phones or other devices for medical purposes.

The board approved the revised policy 5-1 (board chair Denise Adcock was absent) along with a board member Keshia Sandidge was against it. Although Sandidge supported leaving cell phones out of students’ reach during class time, Sandidge did not believe they should be turned off.

Policy 4318 was last updated in August 2018; some examples of electronic devices that have been removed from the policy include paging devices and two-way radios.

Last month, the district surveyed parents, teachers and students to get their thoughts on the proposed policy changes.

While the vast majority of elementary school (75%) and middle school (60%) parents overwhelmingly said cell phones and other devices should be put away for the entire school day, 63% of high school parents said the use of their children’s devices should be limited only during classes. classroom time.

It is no wonder that both middle school and high school students who took part in the survey said that the use of cell phones and other devices should be prohibited only during school hours.