ANCHORAGE - New cell phone rules will be in place when Anchorage students return to the classroom this fall.
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The guidelines will allow students to use cell phones during lunch. The board approved the new rules unanimously.
Phones will be banned during and between classes.
Text messaging during class and other blackout periods also will be banned.
School board members said consistent cell rules are needed. Currently, policies vary among schools because principals have freedom to set their own guidelines.
Andrea Leydon, a junior at Dimond High this fall, said the new rules pretty much formalize what happens at her school anyway. However, she wishes students could use the devices between classes too.
"Because true, we're not in class or anything, we're not disturbing anyone," Andrea said. "It wouldn't be bad to use it, you know? And if it's an important call we need to make, it's a hassle just to go to the front office just to use the phone. Why would you want to do that if you have a phone with you?"
Andrea carries a phone with her, and uses it throughout the day.
"Like sometimes, I'll use it to find people around school, call them to ask, 'Where are you?"' she said. "Or like, when you're bored, you use your cell phone too. Like at lunch time."
Students will probably keep text-messaging when they want to, said Chad Jardin, who graduated from East High this spring.
"Students text all the time. They even have like a skill where they would not look at their cell phone and text and still pay attention in class. They know what to type without even looking," he said.