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Florida school district considering controversial position on cell phones

Cell phones have long been considered the bane of many high schools and middle schools, but now, one Florida school district is beginning to re-think the issue.  In Lee County Florida, newly proposed rule changes will mean that if students are caught using their cell phones during instructional time, they will no longer have their phones confiscated.

Under current rules, phones used in violation of a school’s policies are taken away from students and returned only at the end of the day.  Students with sufficient violations may have to have their parents pick up their phones.  The new scenario envisioned will mean that students can have an unlimited number of offenses and still never have a phone confiscated.

The goal of the policy change is to reduce the loss of valuable instructional time that occurs when teachers must deal with student cell phone use.  In addition, district administrators believe that a revised policy will help students to learn valuable social skills related to cell phone usage in public or semi-public settings.  According to Joseph Burke, the district superintendent, “We know we are moving forward into age where electronic devices of all types are going to be used as educational tools.”

Many board members, however, registered disagreement with the rule change, citing concerns about students wasting time that should be devoted to learning.

Another valuable skill that young people can develop with regards to cell phones is a dedication to recycling an old cell phone when it is no longer useful.