Steelville, Mo. high school to ban students from using cell phones, smartwatches during school hours

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 3:51 PM CDT
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STEELVILLE, Mo. (KY3) - A high school in south-central Missouri is making a change to prevent the use of cell phones and smartwatches during school hours.

Steelville High School will ask students to not bring their cell phones to school or check their phones into an office until the school day is over.

In a Facebook post Thursday, Steelville High School said it was working to send a letter to notify parents of the change. The new policy would also prohibit students from using smartwatches or other electronic devices that connect to internet.

The change will take effect April 4 on a “permanent basis,” according to the school district. Students who chose to check in their phones and other devices are allowed pick them up during dismissal each day.

In the letter shared via Facebook, the school district cites the following factors for the change:

  • Students taking videos and pictures of other students in the bathroom and posting on social media (child pornography)
  • Students making audio recordings of test reviews and listening to them while taking a test
  • Students using phones while in locker rooms
  • Pictures being taken of other students in the classroom without permission and posted to social media
  • Making videos and posting on TikTok
  • Large amounts of conflicts that begin on social media or through text messages

The school district is encouraging parents who need to contact their child throughout the day to call the high school office, rather than communicating via cell phones during school hours.

According to the school district, any student who violates the high school’s new procedure will have their phone taken and need a parent or guardian to pick it up. A second offense will result in the same procedure, plus after-school detention.

“I appreciate your support in this as we strive to help our children understand the importance of their education and the need to disconnect from the electronic distractions that take away from their learning,” said Steelville High School Principal Steven Vetter in the post via Facebook.

Read the full letter here:

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