ONEIDA (WATE) – Parents are upset after learning their child will not be allowed to have their cell phone “with them” during class at Oneida High School. The school is enforcing a new cell phone policy this year.
Students must now place their phone into a container when they enter the classroom. They are not allowed to have it in their backpack or in their pocket. If they get caught using their cell phone in class twice, the school will confiscate it for three days. If the student gets caught three times, the school office will hold the phone for a week.
“Why would I be paying $250 a month for a phone I don’t have access to?” said Tina Fairchild, a mother of a Oneida High School student.
Fairchild believes her child is being punished for not doing anything wrong.
“As long as it’s put away and not visible and not heard, it shouldn’t be a problem.” said Fairchild.
However, the Oneida Special School District said there are a number of reasons why they changed the cell phone policy.
“Video taping other students, bullying issues, students taking pictures of tests…” said Dr. Jeanny Hatfield, Director of Schools.
“But, I feel as long as my phone is in my backpack and it’s off and it’s not bothering anybody, I don’t see why I should have to put it in their caddy,” said Faith Fairchild, a student at Oneida High School.
If a student’s cell phone gets stolen, the new policy says the school is not responsible.
“Cell phones are a lot of money. That’s my big concern, putting it in a caddy. If it gets stolen or if it gets damaged,” said Tina Fairchild.
“Our main priority is to have that time to instruct them,” said Hatfield.
However, Tina Fairchild feels her child needs to have her cellphone with her at all times.
“What if something tragic happens? I want my daughter to get in touch with me,” said Tina Fairchild.
Once class is over, students cab grab their phone and use it during breaks. If something happens during class, Dr. Hatfield says teachers will have their phones with them.
“If they are going to be punishing the children, the teachers shouldn’t have cell phones either,” said Tina Fairchild.
Tina Fairchild and her daughter do not know if they are going to sign the new policy. If they decide not to and Faith Fairchild is caught with a cell phone, the school will take her phone away for 30 days. They say they feel bullied into signing the new policy.