Brevard County updating policies to restrict phones, smartwatches, other technology in classroom
VIERA, Fla. - The Brevard County School Board is cracking down on wireless technology in the classroom. The board has been revising the current policy and trying to find new ways to make sure the classroom is used for learning.
At Tuesday’s school board meeting, the board was planning to vote on the revisions and implement an updated wireless communication policy that won’t just apply to phones.
"Off, off, off! You’re not supposed to sit there and text in class," said Matt Susin, a current BPS school board member and chair. "You’re not even supposed to have your cell phone watch, so you can watch. If you have a watch, it needs to be disconnected."
In the revised wireless communication policy, Air buds, earbuds, and Bluetooth audio headsets would all be off-limits in the classroom.
"The former policy was not being enforced in all of our schools. Some schools were. Some schools weren’t," Susin added. "So, the strict enforcement of the policy is the beginning."
Susin said the school board’s goal is to adopt the revised policy and put all schools on the same page, but some parents aren’t sure it will work.
"Kids got to have their phones out. They’re raised on phones. That’s their whole lives," said Victor Badinetti. "It’s like you take an arm away, right?"
He says he lived in an area where phones were banned at the local school district. Others don’t think eliminating phones will help students learn how to use them properly.
"We live in an area where technology is inevitable. It’s part of our lives, so by teaching them to not use it and taking it away will almost encourage them to want to use it without proper guidance," said Sunny Ringer who has two students in BPS.
The revised policy will also ban students from recording fights. If teachers want to use phones in their class curriculum, they have to get permission from the principal.
"It’s the blatant disrespect for them [teachers] as professionals. The idea that they have to go ask a principal for permission for what’s going to happen in their classroom is a concern," added Kelly Kervin who doesn’t think teachers should have to get permission to use phones for educational purposes.
If the revisions are approved, the board says it will start working on implementation and making sure staff members know about the changes and proper enforcement policies.