The Atlanta Federation of Teachers is asking the Atlanta school system to ban all student cell phones in school buildings and on school grounds.
"If you allow cell phones, you're just putting one more weight on the shoulders of teachers and administrators who are already overburdened," said AFT President Verdallia Turner.
The call for the cell phone ban comes as the school board is considering relaxing the current cell phone policy. The current policy allows high school students to have cell phones in school. The new policy would allow all students to have cell phones in school, with parent permission. The policy change would not allow cell phones to be used during school hours.
The district is reconsidering the cell phone policy following shootings at two Atlanta schools. Late last month, a student accidentally shot herself in the leg at Grady High School. Earlier in February, a teen at Price Middle School is accused of shooting another student.
Many students said they communicated with their parents via texts during the two ordeals.
"I think that's a little unfair because I like to text in class, but also because if there's some kind of emergency and parents can't be notified," said Lydia Justice, a Grady HS student. "Anything could happen."
However, the ATF insists the cell phones caused more confusion during the two shootings as misinformation was being sent out.
"When you have 15 or 25 people telling a story and they are emotionally charged, the real story can't get out there," said Turner.
The superintendent is now reviewing the policy and will present any proposed changes to the school board.
"No one's going to follow that," said student Madison Cumbest. "Everyone's going to bring phones to school. It's just a fact of life for teenagers you got to have them."
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