• Last modified 58 days ago (Feb. 22, 2024)


Is new law needed? Schools say they already have cell phone policies

Staff writer

A bill sponsored by State Representative Scott Hill would require school districts to ban students from using cell phones during normal hours of the school day.

But whether such a bill is needed is a matter of opinion.

“We have a cell phone policy that does that,” Hillsboro superintendent Clint Corby said.

Corby said he didn’t disagree that cell phones are an issue in schools, but local school officials already have addressed the issue.

“I will say I believe in local control, and I believe our legislators do, too,” Corby said.

Hillsboro’s policy is that cell phones at the middle school must be turned off and cannot be visible on campus during the school day, including during class time, passing periods, lunch periods, after-school detentions, emergency drills, and field trips.

Middle school students are allowed to use phones after school or if a staff member tells them to use them in the staff member’s presence.

In high school, cell phone use during classes and resource times is prohibited regardless of location. Teachers may confiscate a phone and turn it in to the office for the student to pick up at the end of the school day.

Cell phones may be used during instructional time at the discretion of a teacher or administrator.

The first violation of the rule results in the cell phone being confiscated and turned in to the office. The student may get it from an administrator at the end of the day.

The second violation results in an hour’s detention, and parents are required to pick up the cell phone from the office.

“I feel good about what our policy is,” Corby said. “I would venture to say that all schools have something similar.”

Hill’s bill was supported by Trish Madsen and Lori Cook, counselors at Blue Valley Middle School.

A Shawnee Mission high school parent, Kim Whitman, said she developed the Phone Free Schools Movement to help students excel and socially develop without hand-held distraction.

Last modified Feb. 22, 2024