When school board could to vote to ban cell phones for Hanover students

Cell phones in class rooms causing concern
Posted at 6:22 PM, Jun 13, 2024

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- The Hanover School Board opted to delay a possible vote on a policy that would ban cell phones for students after making a lot of edits to the draft policy at their Tuesday night meeting.

Board members said that they wanted the district to finalize those edits before they make a final vote.

Many board members stated they believe banning cell phone use during the school day will improve the overall well-being of students, their focus and social skills. They believe the current policy of allowing students to use their phones during class changes and lunch times was not enough.

That proposed new policy reads that students must keep their cell phones, earbuds, headphones, digital watches and any further devices away in their backpacks from the time they walk into the building until school's dismissal.

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The board said their plan would include accommodations for students with medical and special education needs. The policy also allows students to use the devices for instructional purposes at a teacher's instruction.

Community members attending the meeting spoke on the issue during public comment.

One parent said they believe students should put phones in their backpacks, but believe they should not be locked away in case they need a way to contact their parents in an emergency.

Another person argued that the district's current policy should remain in place.

“Enforce what you have now and I find it ironic you tell the kids they can’t have their cell phone and then shove a Chrome book in their face," he said.

WATCH: Should schools ban student cell phones? Hanover parents at odds

Should schools ban student cell phones? Hanover parents at odds

The board also proposed differing disciplinary action between elementary and middle and high schools.

They suggested making it a tiered system that includes having parents pick up the student at all levels of infractions.

It would then escalate to detention, Saturday school, in-school suspension, loss of activities and then out-of-school suspension.

“The board is fairly close to unanimous and try the policy route K-12 and we want it to have teeth. It is a zero tolerance that we just have to set that expectation from the very beginning," school board chairman Bob May said.

Board members said that the policy is approved they will be taking a hard stance to ensure the policy is properly enforced. However they proposed a grace period at the beginning of the school year as students learn the policy.

The board hopes to vote on the finalized policy at their meeting in July.

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