Loudoun Tightens Cellphone Policy for Upcoming School Year

Faith Perkins | July 5, 2024

(The Lion) — The Loudoun County School Board in Virginia has approved a stricter cellphone policy, aiming to minimize distractions and enhance students’ focus on academics.

Policy 8655 bans mobile devices in elementary grades, allows middle schoolers to keep them stored in lockers in silent mode, and requires high schoolers to place their devices in a designated classroom storage area, WTOP News reported.

“If the devices are allowed to be within the students’ pocket or backpack, our students have a hard time restraining themselves from checking it, if it’s within reach,” said board member Anne Donohue, who amended the policy to make it stricter for high school students.

Board member Lauren Shernoff also supported the amendment, reflecting on community feedback that favored tighter restrictions.

“The feedback that I’ve gotten is that this isn’t tight enough, which did surprise me,” Shernoff said, according to WTOP. “Kids are not tempted away from the valuable instruction that is happening in the classroom, and they can be fully connected to focusing on their academics and the learning, and I think that’s really the goal.” 

Board member April Chandler acknowledged the potential challenges in implementing the new policy but stressed the importance of parental and staff support. 

“It will take parents, it will take teachers, it will take principals to support our students through this change,” Chandler said, according to WTOP. “It might not be easy, but I believe the results will be well worth the effort.” 

The policy also asks parents to limit texting their children during school hours. In case of emergencies, parents are directed to contact the main office of their child’s school. 

“This policy will be reviewed and updated regularly and as needed to address emerging issues and changes in technology use, but no less than every two years,” states the policy, which will go into effect this fall.

This article was made available to EdNews Virginia via The Lion, a publication of the Herzog Foundation.