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School enforces phone policy

By Leigh Anne Butler

When students at Tallassee High School enter a classroom, they are required to place their cell phones and smart watches in assigned pouches on the classroom door. They remain there until the class is concluded and the students leave that classroom. 

“This is not a new policy. It’s just being enforced,” Brock Nolin, superintendent of Tallassee City Schools explained. “It hasn’t been enforced in about three years.”

When students returned to school from Christmas break, parents and students were made aware of the cell phone policy that would be enforced.

Tallassee High School is hoping to take a step forward by making necessary enforcements to its cell phone policy in an effort to help students stay focused.

“When you look at our state score at the high school, we’ve been a “C” for years,” Nolin elaborated. “One of the first things that pops in my mind are distractions. What’s the main distraction in the classroom?  The phone.

“When you walk into a classroom and have ten kids with their phones out and the teacher is teaching like they are supposed to, these kids are distracted. What we are doing is working. The kids have adapted to what we were supposed to be doing anyway, which is good. The staff members are backing it up.”

Some parents have expressed concern on social media about safety issues with students not having access to their phone in emergencies.

“The building staff have radios and cell phones if needed,” Nolin added. “Teachers have their phones in case they need to communicate (in an emergency). We also encourage them not be using them for personal business during school hours.”

According to the Tallassee Code of Conduct, the unauthorized possession of a cell phone carries the following disciplinary action: “Confiscated phones will be held in the office during school hours for five days, or parents may choose a five-day in school suspension.”