DISD Hung Up on Cell Phone Policy

The Dallas Independent School District is considering stricter policies for cell phones.

The district allows middle and high school students to have cell phones as long as they turn them off during school hours. Cell phones are not allowed in elementary schools.

The school board is hung up on a new policy with stricter disciplinary actions for those who use their phones during at school. The board discussed the measure Thursday, but tabled the issue until April 8.

"Everyone does it. No one really turns their phone off," said Hillcrest High School sophomore Hayden Porras.

He said he and most of his friends can send text messages from their pockets, without even looking at the keypad.

The DISD is considering a policy that will confiscate the phones of students who are caught three times for the remainder of the school year. Students who refuse to give up their phone could be suspended. It would take effect next year.

As the policy stands now, students caught using a cell phone in class are fined $15.

"I've been here four years; it's happened about three times, so that's 45 bucks," said Thomas Jefferson High School senior Miguel Vazquez.

Angela Rogers, a mother of three teenagers, said she will support the district if it goes with the stricter policy.

"If they decide to do that, then rules are rules and are meant to be followed," she said.

Rogers said she would even support a cell phone ban on school campuses.

"We are not going to die if we don't have cell phones," she said.

But most parents seem to like the cell phones for emergencies and coordinating after-school activities.

"The phones are good," Hillcrest parent Norma Cerin said. "We can find them (kids) anywhere."

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