Southeastern Jr./Sr. High School officials say one semester in, students are adjusting to change in cell phone policy prohibiting access during school hours. RILEY NEWTON/STAFF
Photo: Riley Newton
Photo: Riley Newton

Southeastern students adjust to cell phone ban, superintendent says

A cell phone policy change going into its second semester at Southeastern Jr./Sr. High School has been positive for the district, the superintendent said.

“Staff administration feel like it has been a positive change for the buildings and believe it’s limited student distractions while increasing student engagement,” Superintendent David Shea said.

Southeastern Local Schools changed the policy at the beginning of the school year to require that students keep their cell phones in their locker during schools hours.

RELATED: Southeastern bans student cell phones during school day

Shea said that part of the reason for the policy change was because it’s hard for teachers and staff to monitor student cell phone use.

“When you have 200, almost 300 kids, carrying around cell phones it makes it difficult to moderate when they have them in the bathroom, in the hallways, in the classroom, it’s tough,” he said in August.

Students have adjusted to the policy, Shea said.

“The first nine weeks there were 29 infractions, then the second nine weeks only seven infractions,” he said. “Once they got a little more used to the policy, they seemed to adjust.”

Shea’s decision to institute the cell phone ban came after a video made its way around social media showing a Southeastern junior high school students following a student around a field trying to get him to fight.

RELATED: Parents split on Southeastern’s decision to ban cell phones during school hours

Students caught using their phones are given a verbal warning first, but could face harsher punishments if phone use continues.

If parents need to contact their child during the school day, they are encouraged to call or email the school’s front office.

“There have been no complaints from parents concerning limitations to their kids,” Shea said. “The office phone and email is available all day for parent-student communication.”

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