Use a phone in class, lose a phone in class

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)-- The school year is finally here and already, cell phones are causing quite the distraction in the classroom.

That's why some school districts are doing something about it. Some schools in the area can take away a student's phone for class periods, the rest of the school day and even overnight.

For most schools in the Fargo-Moorhead area, it's a three strike system.

In Fargo, schools have their own policies, but for the most part, they're all the same.

A West Fargo student said she's aware of what can happen when kids take their phones out in class.

"If you have it taken away for like multiple times, they will not let you have your phone in class at all," Isabella Logan said.

A first offense and the phone is taken away for the rest of the period.
A second offense--for the rest of the day. And the third time, the phone is held until parents come to get it.

A Liberty Middle School student said her sister once had her phone taken for many days.

"She was in class when she had it and it went off or something, and they saw it," Shanea Wilhelmi said. "And she got it taken away for a couple days because our parents had to come in and sign a form to get her phone back."

The district said the policy aims to help kids focus in school, but they have received some backlash from parents.

One mom said she would be upset if the school tried to keep her kid's phone overnight.

"No, I don't think they should," Tammy Nord said. "Just because, if they need to get in contact with their parents or their job, if they have a job. So, no, I think for emergency wise, they need to have them with them."

The school district added, for the most part, parents are supportive. One Ada, Minnesota mom said that she would back the school up in the overnight policy.

"If the teachers have taken it, it's probably for a good reason," Christie Roux said. "I know when I'm talking to my kids and they're on their phone, it's really annoying. If they take it and want to keep it overnight, that's probably a good punishment."

Many kids said they have seen students lose their phones daily. One student said the problem got so bad at her school, teachers took it to a higher level.

"You walk into class, you put your phone in the bucket and the teacher watches," Hannah Nord said.

It might be a good idea for parents and students to check out the handbook, so they aren't say caught off guard regarding cell phone policies.

That same advice goes for parents in other school districts, which also have various ways of dealing with cell phone disruptions.