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Phones Now Allowed In Wichita Classrooms

Lisa Risager
Flickr, Creative Commons

Students can now use cell phones in Wichita public schools, but it's up to teachers and administrators to decide when.

The former policy restricted the use of all cell phones, along with other devices, like tablets.

Wichita's school board revised the policy during its meeting Monday night. Now teachers can use phones as part of their lessons.

"While cell phones can be distracting in classroom, they can be used for interactive learning like Ka-hoot," Kari Coster, a junior at Wichita North High School, told board members, referring to an app that lets students play educational games on their phone.

"Which everyone knows is super fun," said Coster, a member of the superintendent's student advisory council.

High school students can also use their phones during lunch and between classes; middle school students can only use phones in class. Phones still can't be used in elementary schools.

Board President Mike Rodee was the lone vote against the policy change and said he believes "cell phones are a distraction from learning."


Stephan Bisaha is an education reporter for KMUW’s Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha.