State urging educators to limit students' cellphone usage. What's your school's policy?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Ohio lawmakers, leaders and school officials, including Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, met last month to discuss research showing the negative effects of cellphone use by students. The roundtable included discussions on students' mental health, academic performance and social well-being.

Unrecognizable male student text messaging on mobile phone while being on a break in the classroom.
Unrecognizable male student text messaging on mobile phone while being on a break in the classroom.

As more students have access to cellphones and smart watches, DeWine is urging school administrators and educators to limit student use of devices or consider banning cellphone usage in schools entirely.

Here's a look at the cellphone policies at area high schools.

Buckeye Trail High School

Students have permission to use cell phones on campus before school, between classes, in the cafeteria during lunch periods, and after school. They are not permitted to be used during class. Cell phones and electronic devices used for cyberbullying will be confiscated.

Recording devices may be used in a classroom, but only as a learning aid and only with the prior approval of the teacher or as indicated in an IEP or 504 plan. Students are not permitted to take unauthorized pictures or videos of students or staff members.

Cambridge High School

Personal devices can be used before school, during class changes, at lunch and after school. Use of devices during class time is prohibited unless allowed by the teacher. Any of these times may be restricted by building-specific administrators. Students must have their devices in silent mode while on school campus unless otherwise allowed by an administrator/teacher. Headphones may be used with permission.

Devices may not be used to cheat or for non-instructional purposes (such as making personal phone calls and text messaging). Students may not use devices to record, transmit, or post photographic images or video of a person or persons on campus during school hours or school activities unless otherwise allowed by an administrator/teacher. Devices may only be used to access computer files on internet sites that are relevant to the classroom curriculum.

John Glenn High School

Students are discouraged from bringing to school any electronic device that distracts or disrupts others. Electronic communication devices are not permitted to be used during the regular school day unless approved by a classroom teacher for instructional purposes. A student who brings a phone to school is consenting to allow the phone’s data to be searched as long as the search is tied to a specific violation. If the policy is violated, personnel will collect the device and turn it into the office.

Students are not to access cell phones unless granted specific permission to do so and are encouraged to leave smartwatches at home or locked away. Students are not permitted to access features of the smartwatch which provide supplemental access to their cell phones. Students are required to honor the request of classroom teachers and school staff to remove such a device from their person to prevent distractions or to prevent potential academic dishonesty in testing situations.

Meadowbrook High School

The classroom teacher makes the final decision about device usage during classes. Students are allowed to use their electronic devices during their lunch period and in between classes, or if permitted by a teacher. If the electronic device is used in a manner that violates the student code of conduct the student(s) will be punished according to the student code of conduct.

Students are not permitted to use electronic devices to record videos/images within the school without the permission of the classroom teacher or the person(s) being recorded. "Sexting'' is prohibited at any time on school property or at school functions. Such conduct could result in criminal violations related to the transmission or possession of child pornography.

Sources: Written school policies available online in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024 school year student handbooks.

This article originally appeared on The Daily Jeffersonian: Guernsey County schools have policies for student cellphone use