Cell Phones At School ... Yes Or No?

March 27, 2007
Reported by Vince Atkinson

Are they a modern day convenience or a big annoyance?  However you feel about cell phones, one thing is for sure, they have sparked a huge debate on school campuses.   The Calcasieu Parish School Board banned cell phones on school campuses months ago, but now some are wondering if the new rules go too far.  Everyone seems to agree that students should not be using cell phones while they are in class, but the gray area of this issue surrounds just how tough the rules should be when it comes to enforcing the cell phone ban.

Calcasieu Parish School Superintendent Wayne Savoy said, "We feel like this policy is more fair than the one we had before."  Savoy was talking about proposed changes to the current parish wide school campus cell phone ban.   Currenty if any student is caught with a cell phone on campus, even if it is turned off; they are automatically suspended from school.

The current cell phone rules do not sit well with some current school board members.   Calcasieu Parish School Board Member Bryan LaRocque said, "We have on our campus in Moss Bluff, already over 70 suspensions related to cell phones.   The large majority of those students were not using their phones."  School board members are considering allowing phones on campus as long as they are turned off and stowed away until after school is over, but even that idea has left some board members divided.   School Board Member Fredman Hardy said, "I really don't see a great need to change that old policy."

After much discussion, school board members were unable to come to a complete agreement on how or if the cell phone ban should be altered.   The board plans to revisit this same issue no later than this coming May.   For the time being the current cell phone ban for Calcasieu Parish Schools remains in effect.   If the rules do end up being altered, they will not go into effect until the next school year.