PERRY -- Houston County school board members voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt a new policy under which students won’t be penalized for having cell phones at school, as long as they aren’t in use or visible.
The change is part of a push to update outdated policies throughout the district, board member Jim Maddox said.
“Some of (the policies) have been around for a long time, and there are things in those policies that are covering or deal with technology and things that wasn’t even invented when the policy was written,” he said.
Students are going to have cell phones, Maddox said during a Monday work session.
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“We just don’t want them using them during class,” he said.
“We don’t want them disrupting. We don’t want them to be a distraction, and that’s the main thing.”
The new policy states, “cell phones may not be in use or visible at schools during the school day or on the school bus during transportation to and from the school.”
The former policy prohibited “use or possession during the school day of cell phone or electronic device, except for health or other reasons approved by an administrator.”
The old policy is part of the county’s Student Code of Conduct, which was adopted in 2000 and has been revised several times since then. However, it’s unclear whether the electronics section has been a part of those revisions.
The new policy will have a 30-day waiting period, until the board’s Oct. 18 meeting, at which point the updated policy can be added to the Student Code of Conduct.
The board may later revise the policy, titled “Use of Electronic Devices by Students,” to include language pertaining to other electronic devices.