USD 379 Board Votes on High School Phone Policy: Instructs Students To Keep Phones Off, Seek Permission Before Using Devices

By Quinn O’Hara

During the last USD 379 School Board meeting on June 10, the Board voted on the new high school cell phone policy for the 2024-2025 school year.

The electronic devices policy for the Wakefield High School’s 2023-2024 school year directed students to seek teacher permission before using electronic devices and allowed their use before and after school, during passing periods, and during student’s lunch period. Clay Center Community High School’s 2023-2024 electronic devices policy instructed students to leave electronic games and laser lights at home and to have their cell phones turned off during class time and in the classroom. CCCHS students were allowed to use their phones during passing periods, during lunch in the commons, and before and after school.

The new policy, as voted on in the meeting on June 10, will instruct students to turn off their cellphones, smartwatches, and earbuds and secure the devices in their personal lockers or backpack during school hours. The new policy dictates that students must obtain permission from a teacher, a counselor, or administration to use a cell phone during instructional time.

The measure also added that the use of wireless communication devices in locker rooms for any reason is strictly prohibited as they “pose a serious threat to student privacy.”

Board Members Tracy Claeys, Jason Bergsten, Shanna Sterling, and Dave Jermark voted in favor of the measure, with Members Jeff Cannizzo, Linda Sleichter, and Andy Auld opposed.

The new policy will go into effect for both CCCHS and Wakefield High School for the 2024-2025 school year.

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