Changes possible to Lafayette Parish schools’ cellphone policy

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) Lafayette Parish School Board members are working to clarify and possibly make changes to the district’s cellphone policy.

Students are not allowed to have phones or other electronic devices audible or visible during school hours.

Currently, administrators confiscate any phones that are caught on campus for a period of five or more days.

One proposal is to have parents pick up the phones the same day they are confiscated. The student would then face discipline consequences. The first offense would result in detention, a second offense would result in an in-school suspension and the third offense would result in an out-of-school suspension.

“We’re trying to still have a consequence, but not have to inventory hundreds of phones throughout the school year,” said Chief Administrative Officer Joe Craig. “We would still have a consequence, but just reduce the confiscation aspect.”

A student could be recommended for expulsion if he or she refuses to turn over a phone or other device. Some board members questioned other aspects of the policy, namely penalizing students if a phone is visible. Schools require clear or mesh backpacks, meaning phones may be visible even if they are not in use.

Board President Dawn Morris said she was also worried about the policy’s wording, including what constitutes school hours. Morris said that could be interpreted as the last bell ringing for the day, the last student leaving or another time.

“I think there are several ambiguities,” Morris said. “I’d like to ask staff to clean up those issues.”

Superintendent Donald Aguillard said his staff will clarify the language and present the policy to the board for more discussion and a possible vote next week.

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