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Lynchburg Schools Change Cell Phone Policy

High School students can now bring phones to school

August 17, 2010|Karen Kiley | Reporter
  • The Lynchburg City School Board changed its policy on cell phones. High school students can now bring their mobile phones to school.
The Lynchburg City School Board changed its policy on cell phones. High school students can now bring their mobile phones to school.

LYNCHBURG; Va. — As students head back to school next week, there is a change in cell phone policy for Lynchburg students. 

High school students will now be allowed to carry and use the phones during the school day. 

The last time the cell phone policy was changed in Lynchburg was 1997. Technology and the use of cell phones has change drastically since then. School officials say, they changed the policy to keep up with the times.

"I think it would be a distraction," said concerned Lynchburg parent William Perkins.

"With Google and stuff on the phones now, they can Google answers and maybe cheat on test. And they text. It will be a distraction in the classroom if not supervised properly," said concerned Lynchburg parent Donnie Kinny.

Parents expressed strong opinions on students using cell phones during the school day. Two parents spoke out against allowing the use of cell phones in schools, at Tuesday night's Lynchburg City School Board meeting.

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"I say to you, deny this," pleaded Lynchburg parent of seven, Walter Major Fore Jr. 

Other parents expressed support over the changes, arguring parents have a need to keep in touch with students throughout the day.  

"My son, who runs cross country during middle school, calls me and says 'dad, I'm going to practice. Pick me up at this time'. It's a nice convenience to have," said father and Information Technology Director for Lynchburg schools, Gregory Sullivan.

The school board voted Tuesday night to change its policy on cell phones.  It now allows high school students to carry the phones during the day and use them during non-instructional time. That's a big difference from the No-Tolerance policy of the past.

"To give a child a cell phone, would be just another disruptive tool," disagreed Fore.  

The new rules are only for high school students. Middle school students must keep their cell phones in their lockers during the day, only using them before or after school.  Cell phones are still banned from elementary schools. Officials say the rules now reflect the times.

"Are we educating for our past or for their future? Cell phones are here to stay and God knows what's going to happen in the next five years. We might be back here revisiting this because it's going to be something else, you know," said Sullivan.

School officials say they spent the past year forming the new policy.   It goes into affect when students start school on Monday.

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