NEWS

Board prohibits electronic devices from schools

Dee Cruise

Starting this fall, Iberville Parish public school students will no longer be allowed to carrying their cell phones, gameboys, music players or other electronic devices on school campuses, the school board agreed last week.

The board voted 12-0 to approve the new policy proposed by Supervisor William Bujol, who oversees school discipline.

"Just about every school has had problems, and it has gotten worse as the years have gone by," Bujol said.

Last year, Plaquemine High School reported 218 incidents involving electronic devices; North Iberville, 55; Crescent, 36; White Castle 22, East Iberville and the Optional Education Center, eight each; Dorseyville Elementary two, and Iberville Elementary one.

The policy provides that no student, unless authorized by the school principal, "shall possess, use or operate any electronic telecommunication device, including but not limited to, any facsimile system, radio paging service, mobile telephone service, intercom, or electronic mechanical paging system in any elementary or secondary school building, or on the grounds thereof or in any school bus used to transport public school students, except in the event of an emergency as declared by the principal..."

Students will be allowed to leave the devices in their cars or submit them to the principal on arriving at school. Only authorized medical devices will be allowed.

Violations of the policy will be grounds for disciplinary action, which is as yet unspecified. Bujol said he wanted to get the policy passed in time for inclusion in the 2008-09 student handbook and that he would propose penalties to the board at its meeting next month.

"What about teachers with cell phones?" asked school board member Brian S. Willis.

"Teachers should not be using cell phones in their teaching times," Bujol said. "That is addressed in the teachers' handbook."