By Dominic Garcia
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Angela Tapp’s message is simple, while school’s in session no smartphones allowed. The counselor and mother of two students in Jefferson County has started a petition to remove smartphones at all district middle schools. One main reason, they’re a distraction.
“The curriculum is pretty tight. We have three minutes in between classrooms, my kids eat 15 minute lunches. There’s really not a lot of time,” she told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
In addition to the petition, Tapp is currently gathering experts to help make her case to the school board.
“We will be addressing suicide ideation, what we’re doing to support addiction, what we’re doing during the school day to keep the children and young adults engaged with one another,” she said.
Jeffco officials say as a general guideline middle schools don’t allow phones during class, but specifics vary school to school.
“It’s likely our families have a wide range of opinions on mobile phone use — from those wanting their student to be accessible all day to those who do not want their children to have a mobile device at all,” said Diana Wilson, Jeffco Public Schools Executive Director of Communication Services. “Our schools work with their community to find the best solution – we see a range of guidelines, from mobile devices used as an educational support tool to no cell phone use during the school day. Our policies advocate for responsible use of devices; schools have the flexibility to define what works best for their families.”
But Tapp feels at times there can be an enforcement problem. She thinks a generic smart phone policy will give the principals and independent campuses a foundation to manage smartphones. She also says she’s had a number of professionals reach out offering support.
“Even some Jeffco employees that have come forward and contacted me and said ‘stay the course.’ This is something that’s very important.”