Student to school board: Give us access to cell phones

  • Thursday, March 27, 2014

Photo provided Devontae Goodwin, left, asked school board members to consider allowing students to use cell phones in school during non-instructional time.

Should Berkeley County School District students have access to their cell phones during non-instructional time?

That's what Goose Creek High Student Body President Devontae Goodwin proposed March 25 during a regular school board meeting.

Goodwin is a senior at Goose Creek with hopes of attending the University of Alabama. During the public comments section of the meeting, he asked the board to consider the issue that is “wildly important to many of our students.”

According to his research, he found that more than 800 cell phone violations were recorded in 2012-2013 at his high school. He pointed to looser restrictions on phones during non-instructional times at Wando High and in Dorchester County School District Two. Devontae asked for a trial period of cell phone use in district schools.

And the school board responded.

“Mr. Goodwin, very impressive case that you just laid out,” board Chairman Kent Murray said.

District Superintendent Rodney Thompson said the district is already reviewing its current policy.

“A bring-your-own device policy is being reviewed,” Thompson said. “If we're going to compete globally, then we are going to have to integrate this technology.”

Another student also spoke during public comments on the issue of technology. Zachory Blayor, a junior at Berkeley High, urged the board to consider keeping textbooks at a student's home and bringing electronic readers into the school for in-class use. He said that could help alleviate student back pain and stress.

According to district staff, many of the new textbooks already have e-reader versions.

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