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Cell Phone Ban Adopted in King George County Schools

- June 5, 2024

School divisions in Stafford and Caroline are also considering banning mobile devices during the school day.

King George County Public Schools this week became the first area school division to implement a total ban on cell phones, and similar bans are being considered in Stafford and Caroline county schools.

The King George School Board adopted Policy JFCK at its regular meeting on Monday. The policy states that “possession or use of portable communications devices such as cellular telephones, or other hand-held computing devices, shall be prohibited at each school to prevent disruption of the educational environment and to maintain order on school property during the instructional day.”

Spokeswoman Amanda Higgins said the school division began communicating with families about student cell phone use in February. Parents were encouraged to submit feedback to division superintendent Jesse Boyd about a potential revised cell phone use policy.

Boyd also formed a cell phone committee early this year, Higgins said. The committee, which was made up of teachers, administrators, parents, and middle and high school students, made recommendations to the School Board in March.

The newly adopted policy contains a section titled “Rationale,” which states, “Cell phone usage among students has been associated with numerous negative outcomes, including an increase in depression, decreased academic performance, chronic distraction, and a diversion of instructional time towards behavior management.”

It goes on to state that cell phone use has been “linked to negative effects on interpersonal relationships, heightened anxiety levels, and concerns regarding confidentiality and privacy breaches, including honor code violations.”

The goal of the policy is to “ensure a positive, productive, and safe learning environment for all” and to “foster an environment conducive to learning, minimize distractions, and promote healthy student behavior and well-being.”

Higgins said administrators are still working on procedures to enforce the new policy but would be prepared for the start of the new school year in August.

Caroline County Public Schools is also considering “additional cell phone restrictions” for the upcoming school year, the division wrote in its June newsletter.

Staff will present information about a revised cell phone policy or Code of Conduct changes to the School Board at its next meeting on Monday, June 10.

The Stafford School Board also appears poised to approve a ban on cell phones as part of a slew of updates to the Code of Student Conduct and related policies and regulations.

Staff presented the cell phone ban last month. The Board will vote on it at its regular meeting next week.

by Adele Uphaus

- Published posts: 325

Managing Editor and Correspondent