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Cell Phone Policy

T. H. Bell Cell Phone Policy


Cell phones, headphones and smartwatches may be used on school grounds before school, during lunch, and after school. Cell phone, headphone, and smartwatch use are prohibited in classrooms, restrooms/locker rooms, and school offices unless otherwise stated by a teacher/staff. Cell phones, headphones, and smartwatches may not be taken when using the hall pass. During classroom instruction, cell phones and headphones must remain out of sight (in your backpack) and in silent mode.

Cell phone and headphone misuse:

1st Offense: The teacher will take the phone. Students can pick up the phone from the teacher after class.

2nd Offense: On the second offense, the teacher will collect the phone or headphones and will place them in the office for students to pick up at the end of
the day and a parent is notified.

3rd Offense: The parent will need to pick up the phone in the office and the phone or headphones are not to return to school for a period of time.

Egregious use (such as in a bathroom or locker room) will be viewed as an act of insubordination and may result in ISS or other disciplinary actions as best suits the circumstance.



We want to make you aware of an important school policy update taking place at the start of this new semester. All T.H. Bell Jr. High classrooms, bathrooms, and locker rooms, will be cell-phone-free zones. This requires that students keep cell phones in school bags, off or in silent mode, throughout the entirety of their classes and while using restrooms or locker rooms. This is a change from previous years when teachers set individual policies within their classrooms and enforcement was inconsistent school-wide. All teachers will have consistently worded cell phone-free classroom expectations for their students in their disclosures. School-wide cell phone expectations will also be defined and shared with students. These expectations will be reviewed with every student during the first week of the 3rd quarter.

As we embrace and integrate technology into our classrooms, T. H. Bell Jr. wants to help teach and promote appropriate digital citizenship. Our school staff has overwhelmingly agreed that a consistent school-wide cell phone policy that clearly defines when and how to appropriately use their cell phone is critical to the safety and learning of our students. Our goal is to have our students stay more present and engaged in their learning. The intent is to support them in their academic success, removing major temptations and distractions, and promoting face-to-face social interaction and connections. When a cell phone notification goes off the minds of our students wander away and their attention moves from instructions to their phones. Phones are not only a distraction for their owners in the classroom, but cell phones can also be a source of distraction for teachers and classmates alike.

We have collected data from our schools and other schools over the last couple of years that show cell phones by students are negatively impacting safety and learning success.


Examples of potential impacts of improper and unsupervised cell phone use:

● Cheating on assignments and quizzes, by sharing answers or Google searching answers.

● Sending sexually explicit or inappropriate messages through text or social media.

● Connecting or coordinating drug use.

● Bullying/Harassment and/or perpetuating bullying and harassment.

● Increased depression and anxiety with dependence of their phones

● Increased distraction during teaching and learning in classrooms.

● Inappropriate filming/photos in bathrooms and locker rooms

● Promotion of participating in illegal behavior (fights, drug use, vandalism, bullying/harassment, etc.)

● Social media posts that target, and/or defame other students or school staff.


We realize that cell phones are an integral part of our lives and are an important part to how we interact and communicate with each other. We also know that managing and training students on how to appropriately use and manage cell phones can be challenging. We want to provide some ideas, research and resources to you as parents as you navigate through this cell phone world with your students. We plan to provide monthly reports of school trends, new resources, and tips throughout the school year.

We highly recommend every family first starts with a family “Media Plan” Resource Link

We also highly recommend parents spend time each week reviewing that plan and monitoring their student's cell phone usage and communication. Many of the big social media companies like TikTok and SnapChat have added parental monitoring tools to their apps.

Other Resources and Research:
Cell phone monitoring Apps
Common Sense Media
Connect Safely
TedTalk Cell Phone Addiction