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Wylie, Abilene school districts widen campus cell phone policies

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:17:55 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 04 2013 01:49:47 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Times are changing and school districts are changing with them.

Almost everyone has a smart phone including students and it's affecting school's cell phone policies. 

Abilene and Wylie school districts have tweaked their policies. The policies are slightly different in the two districts.

Until the 2013-2014 school year, Wylie ISD didn't allow students to use their cell phones at all during the day. To cut down on constantly policing students, the district changed the policy.

"We're allowing them to access their cell phone during their lunch time," WISD High School Principal Tommy Vaughn said. "(This) gives them an opportunity to maybe touch base with parents at home for some after school arrangements."

Across town Abilene ISD took their policy one step further. They allow phones in the hallway during the passing periods. Both districts allow cell phones to be used as learning tools with teacher approval.

"It could be a lot worse," Abilene High School senior student Meagan Macke said. “I feel like they could say no cell phones at all. I know that we definitely take it for granted that we can use cell phones in the halls. We were all kind of complaining that we couldn't use them in the classroom, but I think we're blessed with the fact that we can use them at all.”

"I don't think it's going to solve all problems with cell phones," Vaughn said. "I think there will continue to be problems but hopefully the situation will be improved."

There are consequences to violating the policy. If a student is caught with their cell phone at Abilene High School, the phone gets taken away. There's a $15 fee to retrieve it. If a student is caught violating the policy at Wylie High School, on the first violation, it could get taken away. In multiple offenses could wind up costing the student money.