Local School District Allowing Elementary, Middle School Students To Use Cell Phones At School

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — How young is too young for students to have cell phones in schools?

Recent changes in one Maryland school district have people asking the question again.

Elementary students in Montgomery County can not only bring their cell phones to school, but can use them. Middle school students can now access them during lunch with principal approval.

“It’s too young,” said said one parent. “I just think it’s silly for kids that young to have phones.”

What is the best way to handle student having cell phones in schools.

WJZ found the cell phone policies at districts across Maryland.

Howard county says “administrators at each school determine when and where students use personally owned devices during the instructional day.”

Baltimore County Public Schools allow high school students to use phones during lunch and during some lesson plans.

Students in lower grades can carry phones, but with parents and school approval,

“What works at one school may not work at another school,” said Bob Mosier, with Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

What’s now working at Montgomery County Public Schools is this: For the first time this year, elementary students can now have their phones at school, and phones can be used if lesson plans call for it.

Middle school students can also use their phones during lunch, if approved.

Even in a world where phones provide a safety link to their kids, some parents are worried it could take away from learning.

“They would just play on it if they had a phone in school,” said one Baltimore mother.

Mosier says as technology evolves, their stance could change.

“We’re always looking at what’s happening around the state and the country,” he said.

Some experts worry the extra time with mobile devices could take away from developing social skills and friendships.

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