Orange County bans students from carrying cellphones in pockets. Here’s why

New policy requires students to store phones in backpacks, purses

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Orange County School Board approved a revised student code of conduct on Tuesday for the 2023-2024 academic year.

One portion of the code is the cellphone policy, which says that student’s aren’t allowed to use cellphones during the school day.

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Instead, students must keep them in a backpack or purse. The decision removed the back pocket as an option.

The board is hoping the policy will reduce distractions in the classroom.

District 2 board member Maria Salamanca agreed with the change in the language.

“I have always been very strongly against pockets. As a former student, it’s really easy to just zip it in there, go to the bathroom and use your cellphone and go around the corner,” she said.

Clinton McCracken, president of the Orange County Classroom Teachers Association, said educators worry that students may have a negative reaction to the policy.

“They’re concerned that when we’re not allowing students to have their cellphones on that it’s going to create some conflict at the beginning of the year because students are not used to that policy,” he said.

Parent Judi Hayes had other concerns.

“I certainly appreciate the amount of blood, sweat and tears that went into crafting this policy. However, just a cursory glance of the policy reveals a glaring omission,” she said.

After hearing from Hayes, the board voted to include an exception in the policy for students with health conditions.

The board will continue to monitor the effects of the new cellphone policy during the upcoming semester.

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Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.