CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WFXR)—Christiansburg Middle School has updated its policy on electronic devices, including the banning of cell phones during school hours.

In a letter written by Principal Danny Knott, a committee was put together to review the current personal device policy to see where it could improve. In part of this, the committee reviewed articles that suggested the distractions of personal technology negatively affect students’ academic performance and mental health.

He saysthrough their research, the committee found that the former policy needed to be updated to include newer forms of technology, such as smartwatches and headphones, and to create a schoolwide standard for enforcement of the policy.

The updated policy bans cell phones, smart watches, wired, and wireless headphones, as the policy labels these items as disruptive to the learning environment.

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Students will not be allowed to use these devices during the school day. The school’s expectation is that all electronic devices will be ‘off and away’ in all areas of the school such as the hallways, bathrooms, and cafeteria. If devices are being used or are seen, or being swiped, tapped, or ring/buzz during the school day, they will be confiscated and turned into the office.

The new policy only allows students to use devices during instructional time and under the direction and supervision of a classroom teacher.

Students who are caught using phones may face the following consequences:

First offense – Devices confiscated and sent to the office till the end of the day. Students may pick up devices at the end of the day.
Second offense – Devices confiscated and sent to the office till the end of the day. Parents are responsible for picking up the devices.
Third offense – Same as the second offense.
Fourth (and additional) offense – Same as the second offense but includes Saturday school detention.

Staff will begin teaching students about the new policy and it will be effected on Tuesday, March 5.