The Brooke County Board of Education has adopted a new policy prohibiting the use of cell phones during the school day, a decision we agree with.
Under the policy, which goes into effect immediately, high school students will be unable to use their cell phones during the school day. They will have to store them in their lockers in the morning and retrieve 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 has been in place for the county's elementary and middle schools, 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 carrying consequences that include possible external suspension.
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 time communicating with classmates - both in the same room and in other parts of the building - as well as checking 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.