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What should schools do about cell phones? Students weigh in on the issue

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  • Staff Report 

Cell phones, an integral part of everyday life, are under scrutiny in New York State schools regarding their usage policy.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Executive Director of the New York State Parent Teacher Association, Kyle Belokopitsky, underscored their permanence in modern society but also encouraged local school policy development. The New York State Education Department maintains that such policy decisions should be made at the school or district level, given the distinct nature of all 750 school districts in the state.

Recently, a noteworthy policy change emerged when a New York State school district announced that, starting in September, high school students would be required to secure their phones with a magnetized locking device throughout the school day.

This development sparked further discussion during a mock hearing held at the Legislative Office Building in Albany, involving 12 students from Schenectady and Montgomery County schools. The students, after hearing testimonies from the State PTA, law enforcement, and school leaders, collectively concluded that the decision should remain within the purview of individual districts.