Cell phones now permitted

In an effort for Francis Howell Central to be more flexible with stuent’s electronic devices, electronics can be used during school hours. After several staff meetings, Principal Sonny Arnel and the district Board of Education are now allowing students to have and use all electronic devices during passing periods and lunch hours. During class, teachers determine how and when cell phones can be used.

The Board of Education supports the teachers’ decision on cell phone use during class 100 percent according Mr. Stofer. The disciplinary actions will mostly remain the same if a teacher has made a rule that cell phones can not be out while in his/her classroom.

“[Students] have an electronic communicating world all the time. We can not expect 2,000 people to come and turn off that part of [their] lives. It is unreasonable to have no device during school,” said Assistant Principal Dave Stofer.

The Board of Education hopes to take away the need to use cell phones in the classroom by giving students the opportunity to use them with out penalty.

“We want school to be a place where people feel respected and valued,” said Mr. Stofer.

The new guidelines were summarized by Mr. Stofer during first hour on Monday.

Other staff have had some hesitation towards this specific rule. Teachers who have been in education for a long time have a slight impression that this rule could spiral out of control.

“I am fine with cellphone use in the hallway, but in lunch it is silly because students are texting kids in class rather than kids in lunch. This takes away from their learning and is rude,” said Mrs. Ashley Wager, Spanish teacher.

Teachers all have the right to either ban cell phones from class or allow students to use them.

“I am okay with the new rule rather than them using it during class,” said Mrs. Kay Neal, business teacher.

Mrs. Neal, along with other business department teachers, incorporates many electronics in her lessons, including the iPod touch.

“If we do not embrace technology, [it] will roll over top of us, and students will become bored, said Mrs. Neal.

She will not allow cell phone use for students in her classroom.

“I will not have control. Someone can have easy access to sites that are inappropriate and until the central office can block those settings, students can not use them in my class,” said Mrs. Neal.