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Cell phone policy approved on 3-2 vote

In a special meeting that lasted about 15 minutes Tuesday night, the Mathews County School Board adopted a policy prohibiting the possession and use of cell phones and other personal electronic devices by students during the instructional day and on school buses.

The board approved the policy on a 3-2 vote, with Dr. Mari Gibbs and Bobby Dobson voting nay. Both sought stronger language including an outright ban, as well as greater punishment for those caught violating the policy.

At its regular Aug. 15 meeting, the board deadlocked 2-2 on the identical policy proposal, with member Desmond Smith not in attendance. With opening day on Aug. 28, the board opted to hold this special meeting to ensure that the new policy was in place at the start of the school year.

The rationale is spelled out in the policy itself. “The misuse of cell phones and personal electronic devices (1) undermine the learning environment; (2) disrupt academic instruction; (3) compromise the integrity of stud...

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