PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. That’s what the Wood County Board of Education is considering Thursday evening when it comes to a school cell phone policy.
“Our old policy was pretty much a policy that said, ‘No cell phones. No electronic devices,’” according to Wood County Superintendent Patrick Law.
“We were punishing [students] who were generally pretty good kids, but they just happened to be carrying a cell phone that goes off in class,” explained Law. “It could be as innocent as a phone call from grandma.”
That’s why Law and the board discussed changing the way they looked at electronics in the classroom.
Last spring, they tried a pilot program in the county’s three high schools and one middle school. He said it was what they considered a success. So at Thursday’s board meeting, they’ll vote on expanding that pilot program countywide.
“The new policy allows for their use, allows for students to possess them but not to use them except during designated times of the day, which is generally at lunch time,” said Law.
The other exception is when the principal and teacher agree they can be of use in the classroom when it come to Internet capability or special projects. Law said students respond to this and tend to be more responsible when it comes to their devices and the policy in place.
“It’s recognition on our part that they exist in our world, people are becoming more and more dependent on them and they have great potential for instructional use,” stressed Law.
He said the board of education was on board during the pilot program last school year and believes their vote will be a ringing endorsement to implement the policy in all Wood County schools.