Students, staff comment on electronic device ban
Carbon District electronic policy inclusions
The new Carbon School district policy on electronic devices directly names Mp3 players, cell phones, iPods, compact disc players, portable game consoles and cameras as being units that will be banned as of Feb. 1.
PDA's and laptop computers will still be allowed as long as they are used responsibly.
The schools will offer free telephone usage to students who need to communicate with parents or others during school hours.
Electronic devices may be used on school buses at the discretion of the bus driver
After the Carbon School Board voted last week to ban most portable electronic devices from school grounds, a number of students were questioned as to how they felt about the new rules that would go into effect on Feb. 1.
"Well I agree with the district putting restrictions on electronics," said Tyler Konakis of Helper Junior High. "But they shouldn't punish everyone else for the mistakes of others."
The ban is a result of a couple of years of problems concerning such devices as cell phones (particularly with cameras) and other devices that can communicate with another device. And the problem isn't just at the high school.
"We had other rules and the students wouldn't live by it so we had to go more drastic and it's a district rule," said Jeff Jorgensen, a teacher at Carbon High. "It's not just a problem at Carbon but in the junior highs and elementaries too."
For some students not being able to use their cell phones seems ridiculous, even possibly dangerous.
"What if an emergency was to happen?" asked Miranda Gold a student at Carbon High. "Without my cell phone I wouldn't be able to call for help."
Another student, Venyce Martinez had a little different take on the issue of safety as it applys to the ban.
"It's needed on some level because it keeps kids from learning," she said. "But not being able to carry it (cell phone) is ridiculous. It could be helpful in certain situations and it's security for some of us who don't use them for anything but emergencies. Because I'm a diabetic I use my phone to get my mom to bring me something when my blood (sugar) is low or high. Sometimes teachers aren't there or aren't approachable and a lot of time there is nothing they can do."
Some students also say that rules that are already in place concerning cell phones aren't enforced now. They wonder how new ones can be enforced any better.
"It goes back to the no cell phone use in class policy," said Janine Thompson of Carbon High. "But there are so many students who do use them during class."
Some high school students see the adoption of the policy as the district saying they are not responsible enough to handle adulthood.
"It's ridiculous," said Mikka Pendergrass, a student at Carbon. "We are responsible enough when it is the appropriate time to use cell phones. You're obviously not going to use it on a test."
Others see the problems that have arisen as just a matter of manners more than anything.
"I think that cell phones aren't a problem as long as the students are doing their work," said Bandon Wilson, another Carbon High student. "If the sound is turned off they aren't a nuisance."
With most students in the high school and many in the junior highs owning at least a cell phone, how the policy plays out will be evident in the next few months.
It appears the board will review the policy before the beginning of school next year.