School board OKs cell phone ban

Published 3:44 am Monday, May 18, 2009

By By MaryClaire Foster
While cell phones may seem like an everyday necessity to most people these days, the Escambia County School Board has deemed them unnecessary and counterproductive to a conducive learning environment.
The school board voted on Thursday to approve the 2009-10 Student Code of Conduct that includes a complete ban of students possessing cell phones during school.
Currently, students are allowed to bring cell phones to school if they are checked into the office at the beginning of the day.
Escambia County Middle School Principal Zickeyous Byrd served on the review committee for the code of conduct and per Superintendent Billy Hines’ request addressed the board with the rationale behind the decision.
Byrd said his office collects between 60 to 70 cell phones daily, a task that requires designated office personnel and is disruptive to an efficient day.
Besides creating an inefficient use of time for personnel, Byrd said there have been many problems associated with the cell phones.
In defense of the decision, Byrd reminded the board of life before cell phones.
The penalty for having cell phones would remain the same, a class B offense, which Byrd said could be punishable by an admin warning, out of class suspension or suspension.
In other business, the board:

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