FAC votes to ban cell phone use

By Lucy Jackson

The Faculty Academic Committee passed a proposal last Tuesday banning student cell phone use during the school day, said Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra, who sits in on FAC meetings. The proposal, if approved by Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts, will go into effect next year, he said.

“We did discuss it and it takes a lot of time to get to the Head of School, but it was voted on,” he said.

The ban would prohibit students from using cell phones anywhere on campus at any point in the school day, Salamandra said.

Although the decision of what students are to do with the cellphones while at school was discussed, no conclusion was reached.

Some suggestions were to leave them in students’ cars, backpacks or lockers, Salamandra said. “It seems like people would find it difficult to operate without their cell phones even for a short period,” Salamandra said.

While a policy currently exists barring any cell phone use inside academic buildings, a firmer stance was taken by FAC after teachers complained that students abused the current guidelines by texting in class and in the hallways.

While FAC voted to approve the ban, nothing has been set in stone, Head of FAC Kent Nealis said.

“There was a discussion in FAC about a cell phone policy,” he said. “What I can tell you is that a recommendation has been made to the administration but that’s as far as it’s gone.”

As of Friday, Huybrechts had not yet seen the proposal, and said she knew little about its contents. As a result, she said, it may take longer for the ban to be officially approved.

“There are some things that are so obviously no-brainer that I wouldn’t even spend three seconds on it, but I don’t really know what this is so it may take a little more time,” she said.