The Union County School District is considering a ban on cell phones within their schools. Cell phones have become a concern of school officials for a variety of reasons. School District Interim Superintendent Dr. David Eubanks says cell phones today have many functions making them a greater distraction in the schools. “It has become more and more obvious that cell phones are being used for many purposes other than simply making a telephone call,” said Eubanks.
“The cell phones have become mini-computers with the potential to take pictures, to text message, to get email, and many other things. They’ve become distractions for out students, for our teachers in the classroom and it has become obvious that steps needed to be taken to limit their use.”
Eubanks says that 90 percent of students today carry a cell phone to school. He says that with the functions available on today’s cell phone, the potential for cheating is greater. “When you mention cheating, a good example of that might be–and I’m sure that this has occurred, however, I cannot give you specific instances of it–a student has a math test first period, takes a picture of it and transmits it to a friend who is in second period mathematics who will have a similar test,” he said. “So the potential for use in cheating is there.”
Eubanks says he does not feel that cell phones are only a problem within his district and commends Union County for being proactive in the matter. He wanted to be clear that if the policy passes the board, it does not necessarily mean students can no longer bring their cell phones to school.
According to Eubanks, “If the board votes for the policy on second reading, our objective is not to conduct a daily witch hunt looking for cell phones.
“If a student has a cell phone in a book bag that is turned off, it’s not out, it’s not visible, that’s not our concern because as a general rule, if it’s not out visible, it doesn’t exist.”