High schools across the East outline different policies for cell phones

SNOW HILL, N.C. (WNCT) – As students wrap up the first week back to school, 9 On Your Side is taking a look at cell phone policies for high school students.

Many schools across the East have different policies for using them, yet most high schools say they’ve accepted the fact that students are going to bring their cell phones to school, so now they’ve created their own policies outlining how students can use them.

New this year, Southwest High School in Onslow County requires all students to lock phones in their locker as soon as they get to school, only allowing them to take it out if it’s for a class project.

Greene Central High School allows phones at school but asks students to put them away during class time.

All students there are provided iPads, so Principal Patrick Greene says cell phones aren’t needed for instruction.

“Pretty much anything they can do with a cell phone, they can also do with their iPads. We use that as a classroom management technique as well. I mean kids learn to manage those things the way they’re going to have to in college and as an adult,” Principal Greene said.

In Carteret County, cell phones are allowed before and after school but are usually prohibited on buses.

The policy for Pitt County Schools says cell phones must be turned off and out of sight during school hours or on buses, unless the student has permission from a school official. The device will be taken until a parent can pick it up for first offenses. Any additional offenses could result in up to 5 days of suspension.

In Lenoir County, high schools distribute iPads to students, yet they don’t receive these until a few weeks in. Until then, teachers allow cell phone use in class for things like the calculator, research, or answering surveys. This diminishes when students receive the iPads.

“We’ve reached the accommodation. I think we’re really at that point where students can have a cell phone, they can use it when they know they need to use it and teachers are cool with that and then students respect the fact that they’re in school,” said Lenoir County Public Schools Spokesperson Patrick Holmes.

Punishment varies with the number of violations. A student’s phone could be taken away and given back to them or a parent at the end of the day. Breaking the rules repeatedly could result in suspension, but school leaders say that rarely happens.

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