LAND O'LAKES — Pasco County public school students soon might see their cell phones banned from campus.
Reacting to teacher concerns that kids are using the phones to cheat, Pasco School Board members asked superintendent Heather Fiorentino Tuesday to look at ways to resolve the problem.
That could translate into stricter enforcement of existing rules, which say "personal electronic devices … 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."
During a discussion Tuesday on the 2008-09 code of student conduct, which the board approved, board member Allen Altman said he had received several calls from teachers reporting that new tests were getting to students before they ever arrive in class, thanks to text messages from kids in the periods before them.
"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.
Fiorentino answered that she would be "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.
Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.