Pasco board seeks tougher cell phone rules
Following in the footsteps of their Hillsborough counterparts, Pasco School Board members have instructed superintendent Heather Fiorentino to look into stricter enforcement of rules governing student use of cell phone and other wireless devices that can be used for sending messages and photographs.
During a discussion on the 2008-09 code of student conduct, board member Allen Altman said he had received several calls from teachers who were concerned that newly made tests were getting to students before they ever arrive in class, thanks to text messages from kids in the period before them.
The rules state:
Personal electronic devices (which include, but are not limited to, cell phones, text messaging devices, MP3 players, beepers, PSP’s, CD players, radios, electronic games, etc.), which are deemed to be potentially disruptive, shall not be activated or used during / at any DSBPC school campus, bus, or school function, unless the student is given explicit authority to do so, by a school official.
"The students who are following the rules and acting with integrity are being unfairly impacted by the actions of students who use them to cheat," Altman said, urging the superintendent to give teachers and principals more power to enforce the district's rules regarding cell phones and the like.
Fiorentino responded, "We'll be more than happy to come up with the teeth, so long as I've got the support of the board."
"You've got it," board vice chairman Frank Parker replied, with others nodding in agreement.