Meridian board questions banning cell phones


photo by Sheila Moore

Students in Sheila Moore’s courses use cell phones as an extension of their Chromebooks. Students are often asked to use both forms as they seek to become competent in multiple aspects of technology. “My students have clear guidelines for cell phone use in the classroom. They keep their phones on their desk, face down, unless they are asked to use it for something,” said Moore.

by Karrigan True, Photographer

For the past several years, the Meridian School Board has questioned a change to the current cell phone policy. However, not much has come of it until their last meeting on November 18, 2019. The District 15 News broadcast this meeting. You can watch it here (starting at 1:11:19).

At the meeting in November, Matt Roush, part of the board’s Technology Committee, presented research to support the ban of cell phones in school.

Roush had clearly done his research regarding the topic and was thoroughly prepared.

“This is a topic that I am pretty passionate about,” said Roush during the November meeting. “When I was a child, and most of you were a child, it was a sacred time, it was school time.”

According to Chris Jones, Meridian School Board President, it is hard to form an opinion on the topic without more information and research. Hopefully, there will be more at the next board meeting on December 9, 2019.

If the new policy goes into play, it is undecided if phones will be banned on campus or just in the classrooms. For classes such as entrepreneurship and journalism where phones are used almost every day, this could be a big change.

Even though there are many pros to cell phones in class, “they can be a potential distraction if not managed correctly,” said Jones.

The board must also consider how they would address angry parents in the event of an emergency when they could not talk to their child.

“I had watched the previous live stream where they had discussed the situation regarding cell phones at school. The banning of cell phones would be an outrageous decision that would not be followed. Students would still bring their phones to school no matter what the rule was. I think either way the school board votes, it is going to get a lot of attention and I am planning to watch the next live stream of the meeting,” said Keagan Kantor, sophomore.

Jones says for the new policy to work, “it is going to require a lot more facts and research than what’s been made available right now.”

If you would like to watch the December 9 school board meeting live at 6:30 p.m., you can go here.