The Brooke County Board of Education recently adopted a new policy prohibiting the use of cell phones during the school day, and we applaud them for this decision.
Under the policy, which goes into effect immediately, high school students will be unable to use their cell phones during the school day, storing them in their lockers in the morning and retrieving them before going home.
Exceptions can be made by teachers in the event a web-based phone application will be used as part of the class work.
A similar policy already has been in place for elementary and middle schools in the county, where students can use their phones between classes or at lunch at the principal's discretion.
High school students caught using their phones may have them temporarily confiscated, with repeat offenses having various consequences, including possible external suspension.
Ultimately, this is a good move for the school board. We must remember that schools exist to provide an education to our children. At the same time, today's cell phones are not just phones. Through texting programs, applications and Internet browsers cell phones also can be major distractions in the classroom.
By having access to their phones during class, students have a tendency to spend their time communicating with classmates - both in the same room and in other parts of the building - as well as check social media sites, and could even attempt to use the devices to look up information during tests.
In other words, they are preventing students from doing what they are supposed to be doing; learning.
Having a cell phone is not a right. Even some adults are unable to have access to their cell phones during their work day because of the potential distractions they provide.
We thank the Brooke County school board for taking action on this issue and making sure the focus in the schools remains where it is supposed to; on students receiving the education to prepare them for the future.