Newport considering cell phone ban in schools citywide

East Bay

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — The Newport School Committee is considering banning cell phones in schools in hopes of preventing students from using them in the classroom.

Vice-Chair Aida Neary believes phones are a distraction and wants students to temporarily disconnect from the constant communication.

“That’s really the disruptive element, is the notification all the time,” Neary said.

As it stands, students at Pell Elementary School are not allowed to have phones and at Thompson Middle School, students are required to keep their phones in their lockers.

While Rogers High School does have a phone policy, Neary says the rules aren’t as clear as she wants them to be. Currently, the decision to allow students to use their phones in class is up to the teacher’s discretion.

Neary believes leaving it up to the teacher to decide can become confusing as to when students are allowed to use them.

“We’re really just trying to clear it up for everybody,” she added.

The proposal was voted down Monday night due to concerns it wasn’t strict enough. It was returned to a subcommittee for further review.

That subcommittee will then, in turn, present a new version of the policy to the Newport School Committee in November.

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