April 22, 2010

School board talks cell-phones; signs off on upcoming projects

By Adam Thomas, BHG News Service

The Washburn School Board opened their April meeting with concerns about cell-phone use on school property. During the monthly principals’ reports, High School Principal Glen Weinmann presented a list of student infractions that had occurred recently and cell phone use was at the top of the list. Board Member Rick Tweeten asked if the number of incidents regarding cell phone use in class were at manageable levels and Mr. Weinmann said that they were for the time being. Tweeten then made mention to the fact that some schools in the area have opted to outright ban cell phones on school property and questioned if that is a policy that the board might have to consider if the number of incidents continues. Shelly Charging noted that enforcing a no cell phone policy might take more effort to enforce than their current policy because cell phone use had become so integrated into the culture that it would be difficult to get the students to change their habits of bringing their phones wherever they go. Arik Spencer also thought that it may be time to revisit the school’s cell phone use policy, not necessarily to consider a ban on cell phone use, but to at least update it for the current technologies and uses of cell phones such as text messaging and the like. Weinmann said that the problem wasn’t that they had them, but that they were using them at inappropriate times, "If they are going to have them, they need to at least learn how to use them responsibly."

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