As schools grapple with a rash of recent lockdowns, some parents are fighting the cellphone policy at La Jolla Elementary School, which asks teachers to take phones from students each day.
When students come into the classroom, they are supposed to give their cellphones to their teacher, who secures them in a cabinet and returns them at the end of the day. Students may only use phones when they step off the campus.
A few parents who spoke to NBC 7 Wednesday want their kids to have phones close at hand in case of emergencies. They want to be able to find out what’s happening during a lockdown.
"I think that the kids should have access to their phones,” said parent Doug Littlemore. “The parents are giving them to them for an emergency or to keep in contact, then they should have access to the phones.”
Other parents said they were comfortable with the school's stricter stance. For many, it wasn't an issue because few students have phones.
“I think taking them away is appropriate. Why do the kids need them in class? It's disrupting other kids,” said mother Natalie Hall.
The school’s policy differs from the San Diego Unified School District’s, which says devices must be kept out of sight, turned off and not used during school hours.
A district spokesperson said schools have the ability to adjust policy from site to site.
The district released the following statement about the issue:
“San Diego Unified is committed to providing an effective means for parents to voice concerns and complaints. We believe that concerns should be addressed at the level closest to which the complaint originated. A concern about a school, such as its cell phone policy, should be addressed first by the principal. If there are still concerns after speaking with the principal, parents should contact the district’s Quality Assurance Office, which was established to serve as a resource and outlet for parent concerns. The contact information for the Quality Assurance Office is 619-725-7211 or www.sandi.net/qualityassurance.”