Friday, August 13, 2010

Decision on cell phones deferred UPDATE

Posted By on Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 7:29 AM

There was much interest yesterday in the question of cell phone possession and use in schools because of a proposal on the Little Rock School Board agenda to stiffen existing penalties for taking electronic devices to school. No decision was made last night.

Added thought: With the coming of electronic textbooks, the availability of electronic note-taking devices and the many other educational benefits of connectivity, I'm starting to find myself moving toward the thought that banning electronic devices in school needs to be rethought.

UPDATE: My memory refreshed by a lawyer, let me throw a small firecracker in this discussion by raising the possibility that state law actually doesn't prohibit phones, only pagers or beepers.

The following is the Arkansas Department of Education rule that is used to prohibit phones on campus (note particularly the department's own commentary on what that rule means):

6.02.04 Possession by a student of any paging device, beeper, or similar Electronic communication device on the school campus; however, The policy may provide an exemption for possession of such a device by a student who is required to use such a device for health or other compelling reasons;

Ark. Code Ann. 6-18-502 (b) (2) (D) (Repl.1993) prohibits the possession by students of pagers or beepers on school campuses except when they are required for health or another compelling reason.

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