Marshall County Schools leaders implemented a new cell phone policy for students, citing safety

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- Marshall County Schools leaders implemented a new cell phone policy for students. School leaders say safety was a driving factor for the change.

"The old policy was on the first violation, the school system kept the phone for 24 hours," explained Marshall County Schools Superintendent Cindy Wigley.

Wigley added that policy, which had been in place for years, wasn't keeping up with the changing times.  "School systems are constantly trying to keep up with technology.  In changes with technology, we change our policies," Wigley said, "Parents now, most of them don't have landlines. They operate off of their cell phones. We don't want students going home without a way of communicating with parents."

Vice versa. Many parents use their child's phone to keep track of them and to stay in touch. "It's a safety issue. We just feel like they need their device with them when they leave school," Wigley said.

School leaders created a new policy.  "The principal will keep the device until the end of the school day. Then the second violation would be a conference with the parent, either at school or on the phone, and kept until the end of the school day as well," Wigley explained.

Wigley continued to say the system puts a lot of time, effort, and funding to protect and support instructional time. "Our policies relating to cell phone use are always about protecting instructional time and student safety," Wigley added.

The new policy will go into effect in the new school year.