Lake Forest parents will have to understand when their kids stop returning their calls and texts this fall. If those kids answer their phones, they could lose them or worse. The school board passed a first reading July 24 of a policy that would set district-wide regulations for using cell phones, beepers and other wireless devices.


    Lake Forest parents will have to understand when their kids stop returning their calls and texts this fall.

    If those kids answer their phones, they could lose them or worse.

    The school board passed a first reading July 24 of a policy that would set district-wide regulations for using cell phones, beepers and other wireless devices.

    The policy will actually be more flexible than what has been in place, according to Lake Forest High School Principal Dr. Betty Wyatt-Dix.

    The high school used to have a rule that students needed permission to carry a cell phone. They are too prevalent for that now. More kids started showing up with cell phones after 9/11, according to Wyatt-Dix. In the past two years, she has noticed more cell phone use than ever.

    “We’re assuming 95% of students have them,” she said.

    Administrators won’t hunt for the phones, Wyatt-Dix said. If students forget to turn them off and answer them reflexively, though, they will get in trouble.

    Initially, when beepers were considered a sign of drug dealing, the rules were under the drug and alcohol policy. Once the communications policy was pulled out of the realm of drug and alcohol, it fell off and schools have been handling the issue separately.

    If the policy passes, students will not be allowed to display or use a communication device. If they are seen with one or using one, the device will be handed over to the principal and administrators will give it back to the parents or guardian. Students also will face in-school suspension or extended after-school detention. And the punishments get harsher with each offense.

    Board members agreed that using communication devices during the day is unnecessary.

    “They can possess it, but they shouldn’t be using it,” school board President Christopher Baker said.

    Many times it’s the parents calling kids in the middle of the day, Superintendent Dr. Daniel Curry said.

    So parents will have to quell that urge if the policy passes.

    Curry said the policy shouldn’t change much, just make the regulations consistent.

    The next school board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at the district’s Central Business Office, across the parking lot from the high school.

Email Sarika Jagtiani at sarika.jagtiani@doverpost.com.