Board of education to discuss student cell phone use


FREDERICK COUNTY, Md (WDVM) — A Frederick County Board of Education member wants to spark discussions on the idea that students go throughout the school day without a phone in hand.

Board of Education member, Lois Jarman, has requested that the board begin a discussion into guidelines surrounding the use of cell phones.

“The classroom needs to be a space for learning, a safe space. I think that we could better achieve that goal without cell phones,” Jarman said.

As an educator, Jarman has a no cell phone use policy in her classrooms, and says the lack of distraction helps her students learn effectively.

Jarman adds that she’s looked into research that finds a negative effect on students who practice excessive phone use.

She intends to propose that cell phones be off and put away.

“[They should be] in a backpack, in a locker during school hours. After school hours, absolutely fine, before school hours fine, but once that bell rings to start the school day we don’t see cell phones in the school,” Jarman explained.

Within the Frederick County Public Schools system, each school can decide its own phone policy.

In surrounding counties like Montgomery Country, students are prohibited from using their cell phones during the school day, but high school students can use their devices at lunch, and middle school students may be permitted by the school principal.

“Most teachers recognize today that kids have a lot going on. They have work after school, they have practices, they have daycare responsibilities, and thus they need to have access to get information,” said president of the Frederick County Board of Education, Brad Young.

But Jarman argues that if a parent or sibling needs to get in touch with a student, that’s a task the front office can perform.

WDVM took to Facebook to gather comments from our four-state viewers on what their views are on the role of cell phones in school.

Many agree with Jarman that cell phones should be out of sight, but other comments brought up the point of access to their devices in the event of an emergency.

Young says the board is open to the discussion.

Board president brad young says the topic of cell phone use will likely be on the agenda at a meeting in November.

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