New Cell Phone Rules

May 1, 2007
Reported by Vince Atkinson

It has been one of the most hotly debate public school issues over the past year, should students be allowed to bring cell phones to school?  The Calcasieu Parish School Board enacted a parish wide ban on the phones nearly a year ago, but as of Tuesday night, things are changing again.   The sound of a ringing cell phone will not be heard during class on Calcasieu Parish public school campuses; in fact, you will not even see a cell phone during the school day, but many students will now have them.

While some Calcasieu School Board members wanted to see the current cell phone ban stay in place, others wanted the rules changed.   After months of debate, a compromise was reached.   School Board Member Bill Jongbloed said, "Cell phones and other communication devices must be turned off, stowed away, out of sight, not used during the instructional day, or while ridding a school bus."  Students that break the rules face some stiff punishment.   If any student is caught with a phone turned on, they face one day suspension the first offense, two days for the second and so on.   On the fourth offence a student could be expelled from school.   If a student is caught with a cell phone that is not stowed away, they could face a one day in school isolation for the first offense, suspension the second time, and they could be expelled from school after a fourth offense.

The new cell phone rules are a little differently for elementary students.   If an elementary student is caught using a cell phone during the prohibited times, the phone will be confiscated and the child's parents will be called.   It is important to note, these new rules will not go into effect until next school year.