DeWine signs bill limiting cell phones in schools; local districts to examine current policies

RIVERSIDE — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a bill into law on Wednesday that will require every school district in the state to establish an official policy about cell phone usage during school hours.

DeWine said too many districts don’t have policies and it hurts students’ academic achievements.

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“Cell phones in school place a significant challenge, a significant challenge to learning,” DeWine said.

The governor also said students can’t spend time looking at the 192 notifications that teenagers average every day on their phones.

“Scholl is not just about learning in a classroom, it’s about interaction and learning to get along with other people,” DeWine said.

House Bill 250 aims to minimize student use of cell phones in K-12 schools.

As reported on News Center 7 at 5:00, some area school district leaders don’t think they’ll need to make changes to their existing policies.

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Chad Wyen, Superintendent of Mad River Schools, said they’ve had active cell phone use policies for years.

“Our students can have a phone at school, but it has to be off and secured, either in a bookbag or a locker,” Wyen said.

Their policy involves a few more privileges at the high school level.

“Students have the ability to use their phones based on the zone of that classroom or building at the time of usage,” he explained.

Wyen doesn’t think the new law will force changes for the district. Unlike some other area districts, he does not believe the district will turn to the purchase of Yondr pouches for cell phone storage for students during school.

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