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Westport school board meets to address possibly banning students from having cellphones

Some parents say they feel strongly that kids should not have their cellphones in school while others say, it’s important to have that instant communication with their kids in case of an emergency.

Nicole Alarcon Soares and Frank Recchia

May 16, 2024, 9:19 PM

Updated 35 days ago

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Westport School District held a debate on Thursday night about possibly banning cellphones in schools.
Parents were divided on the topic discussed at Coleytown Middle School.
Dr. Tracy Brenner, a Westport mom, says she wants all Westport public schools to be a no-smartphone zone.
"We're asking for schools to do their part in making schools truly phone-free," Brenner said. "Listening to the research, it is so compelling, it is so clear that there is no reason for a young child to have a smartphone."
The current school policy states that pre-high school students cannot use or display tech devices. High school students are permitted to use them outside of the classroom during unscheduled periods at certain locations.
"It's distracting, it's distracting to the class,” Brenner said. “Knowing you have a phone in your pocket, feeling it vibrate, knowing you're getting a text message, pulls you out of learning, right, pulls you out of learning, takes away their presence of learning."
Some parents told News 12 they oppose the idea of a cell phone ban because they would want to have immediate communication with their children if there were an emergency.
Brenner says most of the parents she's spoken to are open to a cellphone ban.
"If a tragedy were to happen, having a cellphone is not preventing that," said Brenner.
The school board took no action on cellphone bans on Thursday, but school officials say they plan to revisit the topic in upcoming meetings.


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