Cell Phones & Electronics

Cell phones, I-pods, and other electronic devices are extremely popular among middle schoolers today. We are in a time in our society in which we must take on the responsibility of teaching our students/children about the proper use of this technology. There is a misunderstanding among many about cell phones in school. While many parents opt to allow their child to have a cell phone, we must all understand that there is no use of the cell phone allowed in school.

We are likely one of the few institutions that clearly draws the line on the use of cell phones, and there are many reasons for this stance. First of all, students are in school under the authority of school personnel, and are not permitted to use cell phones freely at their choosing during a school day. The use of the phone, whether making or receiving a call, would be disruptive to the learning environment. Many phones are equipped with picture or filming capabilities, and this has resulted in negative behaviors for adolescents. We insist that students learn to interact with each other and with adults in appropriate ways. While students may indeed spend a great deal of time texting and e-mailing outside of school, they must learn to communicate effectively with others through the spoken word. There are also many students who do not have cell phones for a variety of reasons, and we note that it is a piece of technology that has no use for students in school. What do students do with cell phones then during the school day? Once students enter the doors to the school, phones must be turned off, ear buds removed from ears, and all technology devices placed inside the student locker. Likewise, when students prepare to leave school, they must not turn on the cell phone or wear ear buds until they exit the school doors. If a student has a cell phone or other electronic device out of the locker at any time during the school day, it will be confiscated and parents will be required to come to the school office to claim it, and other disciplinary actions may occur.

We maintain procedures for which students may use the office telephone as needed to contact parents regarding emergencies, for example weather cancellations for sports practices or games, or the need to stay after school for homework help which is a change in after school plans. If a student feels he/she needs to call a parent during the school day, a procedure is in place in which the student must ask permission from his/her teacher and receive a written pass to come to the office to use the office telephone. If a student is not feeling well, he/she must get permission and a pass to see the school nurse. The school nurse will be the person to call the parent if the student needs to go home ill. Students and parents should discuss this at home so that there is an understanding of how the technology is to be used in accordance with the procedures described.