Parents often wrestle with whether to get their child a cell phone. The Dale County School Board set out to help make that decision easier.
At the Dale County School Board meeting in Ozark, members discussed three main topics, including where they would stand regarding students with cellular phones. The issue has been brought before the entire board and now must sit for 30 days for members to consider it.
Supt. Phillip Parker said, "The local systems have the opportunity to come up with their own policy on cell phones. So I formed a committee with all of our principals, middle school and high school principals. We sat down with parents and teachers and discussed what was in the best interest of the Dale County schools."
The new policy states that students cannot carry around cell phones, pagers or any other electronic communication devices on campus during school hours. And some parents don't think that is fair.
"My daughter has one friend in particular; her father works in the medical field. A lot of times he'll get called in, so every afternoon as soon as the bell rings, she's supposed to call and see if she needs to get on the bus that day or if he'll be there to pick her up. That's the only time she takes it out. She keeps it off except for then. So in that case, that would be imperative that she would have it. Otherwise she wouldn't know. And I'm sure there are others who are in that predicament too," said Christie Wyatt.
The superintendent explained that sometimes the devices distract students. And they feel children don't need to have them at school.
"Well, we feel that we have ways of communicating at school. We have phones that if an emergency raised. We have secretaries that are there with phones, so we can contact them. I understand them wanting them because they own vehicles. But, uh, you know we realize that children bring them. But we don't go doing searches and stuff like that. But we realize they probably will have em. But as long as mainly they don't bring them out and use them," said Parker.
The next school board meeting is slated for June 24 at 5:30 p.m. Board members are expected to further discuss the school system's electronic devices policy and its head lice and Internet policies.