Aug 7, 2013 11:23 PM by Steven Albritton

Lafayette Schools Look For Stricter Cell Phone Policy, Acadia Parish Embraces

When students in Lafayette Parish go back to school next Wednesday, there won't be any changes to the parish's cell-phone policy. At Wednesday's meeting, the Lafayette Parish School Board delayed a vote to revise the policy. As it stands now, the first time a student is caught with their phone it is taken away for five days. A second offense gets the phone taken away for 30 days and a third time for the entire school year.

Lafayette Parish School Board member, Tommy Angelle, spoke out about cell phones in the classroom, searching for a solution.

"Could we, perhaps, take a cell phone and turn it into a teaching tool? Or maybe use it to our benefit," Angelle said.

The former math teacher compared cell phones to when calculators came out during his time teaching. He says he actually wouldn't allow his students to use calculators because he wanted to make sure his students could properly do mathematics. Now, he says he sees cell phones, just like calculators, as a possible vital tool in the classroom.

"I trust in the next 10 years they'll be doing it. Maybe we should get ahead of the game," Angelle said.

Even with the policy in place, chances are students still have their cell phones. With that, one parish is looking to embrace cell phones in the classroom rather than try to restrict them. In Acadia Parish, they are trying things a different way. Iota High School is running a pilot program to B.Y.O.D, "Bring Your Own Device."

"It's a matter of trying to get our students to use the devices appropriately," Dr. Gibson Miller of the Acadia Parish School System said.

Instead of the parish or school buying mobile devices, students will be allowed to bring in their own. Teachers will have the final say on when they can be pulled out for use in class. Dr. Miller expects it to go over very well with students and parents.

"I have a feeling that come Christmas time Santa Claus is going to be delivering a lot of iPads under the Christmas tree," Dr. Miller said.



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