RULH Middle School bans cell phones

By Martha B. Jacob –

Principal Chris Smith at the Ripley-Union-Lewis-Huntington Middle School recently issued a ban on all personal electronic devices including cell phones.
The ban is now in place at the middle school until further notice, according to Principal Smith.
“We implemented this social media ban to eliminate texting during school time and stop the posting of videos being recorded during lunch, recess and transition times,” Smith said. “As a result, it has increased face to face interaction, which we believe to be a plus in regard to social skills for their future.
“Technology is still a high priority in the classroom. Every student in the RULH School District has a personal chromebook to use for learning purposes. This was made possible through the community of RULH Local Schools by the passing of a school levy in the fall of 2014.”
A notice of the ban was sent to the parents or guardian of every student in the school.
Smith explained that although the students are allowed to bring the electronic devices to the middle school, they must be powered off upon entering the building. Once the student exits the building they are free to power the electronic device back up.
Regarding extracurricular activities such as play practice, athletic practice and/or music or athletic events, students may power their devices back up under the supervision of a teacher and or parent.
Students may power devices back up at the end of dances in order to text or call parents for pick-up.
“If a student gets caught on their cell phones,” Smith said. “And it’s their first offense, the teacher has been directed to confiscate/ask for a student’s phone if powered up and turn it into the office. The device will be returned to the student at the end of the day.”
Smith said that with the second offense the teacher will confiscate/ask for the device then turn it into the office and a parent/guardian will need to come to the school to pick it up. That student will lose all personal electronic device privileges for the rest of the school year.
After the third offense, the consequences beyond use of electronic device will be administered and the student will no longer be allowed to bring the device to school for the rest of the current school year.
“Our students will be allowed to work on their chromebook and/or a classroom computer,” Smith said. “Anyone who has any questions about this ban, please contact me at (937) 795-8001.”