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Putnam School Board Looking At New Cell Phone Policy For MS And HS

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Putnam School Board Looking At New Cell Phone Policy For MS And HS

Putnam County School System is preparing a potential new policy that will set rules for cell phone use at the middle and high schools.

Board Chair Kim Cravens said cell phone use in school presents major distractions for students. She said when a phone is accessible during class time, there is no longer a focus on the teacher and what the student is supposed to be learning.

“There’s lots of stuff out there that show data for schools that have done things like this, that there has been an improvement in academic performance,” Cravens said. “Because it kind of takes the weight off. You know the phone’s up, everybody else’s phones are up, so I don’t have to worry about anything. I’m going to focus on school.”

Cravens said in addition to distractions, cell phone use also negatively affects students’ mental health. She said kids get a certain idea about what their lives are supposed to look like or how their bodies are supposed to look. Cravens said she doesn’t want students to continue to have anxiety finding self-worth from other places.

Cravens said they are looking at potentially getting pocket holders where students will leave their phones upon entering class. She said the next step to making this a reality is getting buy-in from teachers, students, and administration.

“And I know parents like to be able to text their kids if something comes up but let’s face it I was in school when there were no cellphones so if there’s an emergency you can always call the school to get ahold of your child,” Cravens said. “And if there is some type of an emergency, kids would likely be able to grab their phone quickly for whatever reason.”

Cravens said Director Corby King is looking at other policies from school districts that have similar rules in place. She said they are also working on repercussions should the rules not be followed.


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