Lassen High School adopts cell phone policy
Zubillaga said the committee agreed with the district’s compromise of allowing students to use cell phones on campus before the bell rings at 8:07 a.m. during lunchtime and when school is dismissed at 3 p.m.
Parents and students sat on the committee, which was formed after the board heard complaints about the cell phone rule during its Tuesday, Sept. 11 meeting.
The student handbook said electronic devices including cell phones, compact disc/cassette players and pagers were not allowed on campus.
Both students and parents agreed cell phones shouldn’t be used during class time, but said students should be able to use the devices before school, during passing period, lunchtime and after school was dismissed for the day.
Students also presented a petition with approximately 800 signatures and 37 adult signatures.
On Wednesday, Sept. 12, the management team modified the rule, but said students could not use their phones during passing periods.
“Everybody felt that was a good compromise, including parents and students,” Zubillaga said.
Board President Ken Theobald said the board will study and make appropriate changes to its cell phone/electronics policy as the year goes on.
Board Vice President Connie Herman, who also sat on the committee, said the handbook needs to be changed because phones are allowed on campus, but cannot be used during passing periods or after the passing bell rings at 8:07.
Zubillaga said the committee also discussed the need to set clear parameters as to what happens if a student’s cell phone rings during class time.
The committee suggested when a phone rings, there should be no warning and the phone should be confiscated.
Zubillaga said parents or an adult designated by the parent should be the only ones to pick the phones up.
“We hope the kids will have to get a hold of their parents to let them know what happened,” she said.
If a students’ phone should ring again at an inappropriate time, students would then receive a demerit.
When the committee was formed, Superintendent Dan Lewis suggested it also look into the way cell phones can be used for bullying.
The committee did discuss the issue and Zubillago said it should be easy to catch the perpetrator if the person being bullied tells school authorities what is happening.
The education code prohibits the use of electronic listening and recording devices in an elementary and secondary school unless the teacher and principal give prior consent. The district policy follows the education code guidelines and also prohibits the use of devices capable of capturing, transmitting, or storing images or recording and storing audio in restrooms, dressing rooms or other areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
The board adopted the policy in September 2006.
In addition, the policy also states the devices shall be turned off during class time and at any other time directed by a district employee, except as specifically directed, cell phones must be set to a mode where others cannot hear it and not disrupt the educational program or school activity.
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