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Bibb County Schools delays ban on cell phones, personal electronic devices in classes

The matter was delayed and is expected to be taken up at the regular board meeting in June.

MACON, Ga. — The board was slated to approve at Thursday’s meeting a policy prohibiting students from using personal phones, tablets and other personal electronic devices during the school day. However, the matter was delayed and is expected to be taken up at the regular board meeting in June.

The board began reconsidering its policy earlier this year after a student posted a video online showing another student physically assaulting a teacher.

Board member Juawn Jackson said the board needed more time to review the policy as the agenda for the May meeting contained dozens of other business items for review and approval.

Board member Daryl Morton expressed disappointment at the delay and said he wish he would have known this policy was not going to be approved this month. Morton said a recent survey of teachers found 80% reported students’ use of personal devices in class make instruction more difficult and passing the new policy would signal the BOE supports teachers.

Jackson said the current policy in place, which allows teachers discretion on whether students can use devices during class, would suffice until the next meeting.

In other business Thursday, the BOE voted to approve purchasing an insurance policy for district-issued devices after an effort in December to offer an internal insurance policy to parents at a cost of $25 per semester proved to be ineffective. Insurance for devices for the 2022-2023 school year will cost $423,000 in American Rescue Plan funds and will be purchased from Atlanta-based Lexicon Tech Solutions.

To contact Civic Journalism Fellow Laura Corley, email Corley_le@mercer.edu or call 478-301-5777.

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