The Dickson County School Board is moving toward revamping the school district policy for middle and high students’ cell phone usage.

Weeks said education leaders would like the policy for kindergarten to fifth grade to remain unchanged. The policy currently states that students may have the phones but the devices must remain in their backpacks, pockets, purses or some other personal carry-on and can’t be turned on during school hours.

“Elementary principals still believe that should be the case,” Weeks said.

Principals for teen students, however, believe the cell phones can actually at times be conducive to learning.

“At the secondary level we believe it’s completely different,” Weeks said. “We understand that using those devices…high school students are looking up words, they are looking on Google for different things. They are doing it as part of their assignments.”

“And, yes, we know they are texting and talking to each other between classes and during breaks at lunch time…” Weeks added.

He said a change in the policy would allow principals to determine the appropriate times for phones to be out and on.

The revised policy states: “At the direction of the teacher, and with the approval of the administration, students are encouraged to bring personal devices to school that support learning. Use of devices must be aligned with the instruction taking place in the classroom.” 

Weeks said the intent of the policy is that middle and high school students can have cell phones so long as the devices “do not interrupt instruction.”

“We think our high school and middle school students are capable of doing that with direction,” Weeks said.