No electronics policy to take effect at Collinsville Middle School

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COLLINSVILLE, IL (KPLR) - Administrators at Collinsville Middle School are cracking down on their own student handbook policies and doing away with distracting electronics during the school day.

The move comes after recent reports of inappropriate photos and texts being taken and shared by some students at Collinsville High School prompted school officials to encourage parents to talk to their kids about proper technology use.

"I agree [with the new rule]" said Elbert Lyons.  "It's a distraction mostly... and you're not learning" he said.

In an email to parents, middle school principal Dr. Kelly Jackson explains that effective March 1, the school will adopt a no electronics policy.  Citing recent concerns over electronic behavior like cyber bullying and sexting, the email states:

"It has become increasingly obvious that the use of cellular devices within school is not only a distraction within the learning environment but also a safety risk due to the increase in cyber bullying and distribution of explicit content...All devices will be required to be put away and completely out of sight from the time students enter the building until their departure".

"I think it's a great idea" said Jeanette Dossett.  "Kids don't need to be having cell phones around, they need to be concentrating on school" she said.

No one from the school district was available for an interview Wednesday night but a spokesperson directed me to the student handbook which already prohibits the use of electronics during the school day for non-academic reasons.  The new middle school rule would only crack down on that policy to make sure kids stay focused on what's important and what's not.

"The whole sexting thing and everything like that that's awful and I couldn't, there's no way I could let my kids go through that" Lyons said.

It's unclear exactly how the policy will be enforced.  School officials are asking for parents input as the new rule gets closer to taking effect.  Only school issued Chromebooks will be allowed under the new rule.