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Ohio Schools Change Their Rules About Cell Phones Before a New Law Goes Into Effect


DAYTON, Ohio – Some kids are already out for the summer, so school districts in the Miami Valley and across the state are taking their time to add to or change their rules about cell phone use.

This is in line with new laws that Governor Mike DeWine just signed that say all school districts in Ohio must have rules against cell phone use during school hours.

This isn’t completely new; many school districts already have some kind of guideline in place, like using a locked pouch or only letting kids use them outside of class. The example policy that state leaders are pushing for says that cell phone use should be banned during the school day, but districts don’t have to follow that.

Ohio House Bill 250 will soon be law, and it will require all school systems in the state to have rules about cell phone use.

“We are happy that the Governor and the other lawmakers worked together to make House Bill 250,” said Dr. David Lawrence, superintendent of Dayton Public Schools.

Lawrence agreed with a lot of other teachers, like Gene Lolli, who is the superintendent of schools in Fairborn City.

“It helps make it stronger and more likely to happen,” Lolli said.

A lot of school districts, like Dayton Public and Fairborn, had something in place long before it was required.

“We switched to the pouch case, where they have to put it in that pouch and keep it out all day,” Lolli said. Then they open it at the end of the day.

One school in Dayton Public Schools also tried bags, but they are likely to do what the other nine middle and high schools do and keep them in the office.

Lawrence said, “They put them in envelopes, hold on to them until the end of the day, and then give them back.”

All of them said they’ve seen good effects, and not just more interested in learning. but also control and social and emotional problems.

“It was so cool that students were talking to each other at lunch,” Lolli said.

“The number of cyberbullying incidents has gone down a lot.” “You can’t send people things in the middle of the day,” Lawrence said. “You can’t answer anything sent to you the night before because you don’t have your phone with you.”

Even though some districts see the benefits as unmatched, families and kids still spoke out against it.

“One of the cons the students had was, ‘Hey, what if I need to call my mom?'” Lawrence said. “We pretty much said that there are phones in every classroom and office.”

But in the next few weeks, schools may change their rules based on what the state says and what they’ve seen firsthand. This is to make sure that students have the best possible learning experience.
“The speed at which we do this process in the morning and in the afternoon when we return the phones is something we could do better,” Lawrence said.

“We all know that technology can be very, very helpful, but sometimes it can be bad,” Lolli said.

Some local school districts already have rules in place, like Kettering and Centerville. But remember that all districts need to have something by July 1.

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