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Taking a look at cell phone policies in area schools | News

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Taking a look at cell phone policies in area schools
News, People, Schools
Taking a look at cell phone policies in area schools

Rumors on Facebook Thursday caused quite a reaction.

There were posts about people with guns inside a Rochester high school. Police responded quickly and found none of it true.

But it raises the question -- can school cell phone policies prevent what happened yesterday?

It's interesting to note that cell phones are not allowed in Rochester city schools. Yet, kids were able to spread the rumors and plan a fight after school. So if kids, are bringing phones in and using them, how effective is the policy?

The answer may be part of the reason Webster changed its policy.

Mary Hart is a senior at Webster Thomas. She uses her phone all day – even in school. “At the appropriate times in school -- like in the library. We have smart phones now and now I don't find myself sneaking to use it in class because sometimes we get text breaks.”

Two years ago, the Webster Central School District changed its cell phone policy. Instead of restricting phone use, the district now allows high school students to not only bring their phones to school, but use them.

Glen Widor is the principal at Webster Thomas High School. He helped write the policy.

Students can use their phones in the hallways, the cafeteria and at the teacher’s discretion in study hall and some classes. Widor says for the most part it has eliminated confrontations over cell phones and some students appreciate it. “It gives us the option. Some kids maybe don’t have smart phones and can't use it but if you need to text your mom, it's fair.”

Webster also allows students to use their iPods in school. Widor says there are many educational uses for cell phones and other devices.

Most suburban school districts News10NBC checked with have polices like the one at Webster. The one exception is in Brighton, where students can bring their phones but they can use them only in an emergency. 

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