Although we realize that the decision of whether a student is ready to take on cell phone responsibilities is a family matter, we also must have a policy in place. As educators we fight, and see, the negative impact of cell phones (social media bullying, inappropriate content looked at and/or shared, videotaping, wasted class time) on a daily basis, and our attempt is purely an effort to create a safe and productive environment for all students.
Our plan/philosophy has been shaped by many years of observations, by many different educators. We have seen too many students (some with zero discipline referrals their entire school career) fall victim to the pitfalls of cell phone misuse. I understand the importance that cell phones play in the daily activities of many of our families, and in society, therefore, I feel a broad, “no cell phones brought to school” policy is not an option. Our cell phone policy will be as follows:
Cell phones should remain put away in a backpack, purse or pocket and remain there the entirety of the school day. If there is an extenuating circumstance, a parent/guardian may ask to discuss that circumstance with an administrator.
Consequences for violating Mitchell's cell phone policy
- First offense-the student will be asked to put the phone away
- Second offense-adult holds phone until dismissal time
- Third offense-parent required to pick-up phone
- Fourth offense-Out of School Suspension (OSS)
If student refuses to follow the steps detailed in 1-3 (not putting phone away when asked, not handing the phone over to an adult) it may result in an OSS.