DAVE & DUJANOVIC

Granite School District lays down the law on cellphones in schools

May 9, 2024, 5:00 AM

A student uses their phone while walking between classes at Cyprus High School in Magna on Friday, ...

A student uses their phone while walking between classes at Cyprus High School in Magna on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. In a recent report, the United Nations called for a ban on cellphones in classrooms around the world. Photo credit: Spenser Heaps/Deseret News

 SALT LAKE CITY — Granite School District has drafted a policy restricting the use of cellphones in school and during class. Instead of rules changing from school to school, the policy provides consistency districtwide for students, faculty and parents.

Discussing the ban with KSL NewsRadio, Ben Horsley, chief of staff for the Granite School District, said consistency in applying the rules at every school and for every student is vital.

“The kids are connected enough. Parents are connected enough. They know what other schools around them are doing, and if that’s inconsistent, it builds disdain, and it makes it more difficult for enforcement at the locations where there are more restrictions,” he said.

 

Two types of cellphone bans

According to the Granite School District website, the policy:

  1. Prohibits cellphones and inappropriate use of smartwatches or other personal electronic devices for elementary and junior high students during school hours.

“They just cannot be out at all. (Devices) could be in a backpack. They could be in your pocket. You just can’t have that technology out — any sort of personal device,” Horsley said.

      2. Prohibits cellphones and inappropriate use of smartwatches or other personal electronic devices for senior high students during instructional time. Administrators would permit phones and other technology during passing time and lunch periods.

“A lot of our students are using apps on their phones to actually connect and participate in school,” Horsley said.

He added there would be exceptions for emergencies and 504 medical plans. 

Feedback from parents and kids

The district recently surveyed parents and students about the proposed cellphones-in-schools policy, Horsley said.

“Students do not like any sort of restrictions whatsoever. And they feel like they can engage [in education] without any sort of restrictions, which clearly the data indicates otherwise. Parents were vastly — very supportive of restrictions.”

Four types of warnings

  1. For students violating the district’s cellphone policy, the first warning is to put away the phone, earbuds or other personal electronic device, Horsely said.
  2. The second warning can be confiscating the student’s electronic device in class.
  3. The third warning: the student goes to the administration office, which would contact parent(s) about collecting the cellphone or other device.
  4. The fourth warning is “to engage with the families a lot more significantly to find a path forward,” Horsely said.

Related:

Norway’s ban on cellphones in middle schools shows positive results. Will Utah do the same?


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Dave & Dujanovic

High amounts of spring runoff cause swelling of rivers across the state....

Curt Gresseth

What to do if someone — even you — falls into a river

An expert on water safety and rescue shares advice on what to do if someone -- or even you -- falls into a river, now being driven by ice-cold spring runoff.

2 days ago

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, sit together du...

Curt Gresseth

Healthy marriages good for Utah taxpayers, says governor’s adviser

An adviser to Utah Gov. Spencer Cox says state government is invested in and promotes the importance of strong, healthy marriages and families.

3 days ago

Life jackets are pictured at the Saratoga Springs Marina at Utah Lake on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022....

Curt Gresseth

Come on in, the water’s fine (but remember to wear a life jacket)

The Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation law enforcement chief shares his knowledge and experience with selecting the right life jacket and using it safely.

8 days ago

High amounts of spring runoff cause swelling of rivers across the state....

Esme Sanchez Estevez

Spring runoff concerns in Salt Lake County

Kade Moncur, Director of Public Works Engineering with Salt Lake County talk through the recent spring runoff concerns with resources to be use this summer.

8 days ago

Yardley Makefield Marine Rescue leaving the Yardley Boat Ramp along N. River Road heading down the ...

Curt Gresseth

Utah experts share life-saving boat safety tips

As spring moves into summer, two Utah experts share their knowledge and experience about boat safety.

10 days ago

Police in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, detain people pulled from a U-Haul truck near the city's Pride cele...

Curt Gresseth

Lawyer rips Idaho prosecutor for not charging 18-year-old man, who allegedly yelled racist and sexual slurs at U. women’s basketball players

KSL's legal analyst criticizes a northern Idaho prosecutor's decision not to charge a young man accused of shouting racist and sexual slurs at black players on the University of Utah women's basketball team while in Coeur d'Alene.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Granite School District lays down the law on cellphones in schools