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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester School District is considering restricting their use or banning students from having their cell phones in class.

Rochester Public Schools Superintendent Kent Pekel says school district officials are in the "early stages of a discussion of the pros and cons of allowing students to have phones." Pekel brought up the issue during a discussion about discipline challenges in the school district.

Listen to Superintendent Pekel discuss the cell phone issue and many others during the Rochester Today Show with Andy Brownell


Kent Pekel

The superintendent says limiting or eliminating student access to the devices in school was brought up last fall but the idea was rejected. At the time, Pekel says the sentiment among school administrators and security staff was that coming out of the pandemic taking away cell phones would be "like taking a kid's arm off." He also noted that many parents rely on cell phones to connect with their children during the day.

Pekel says it appears that sentiment has changed. He says he is now getting "a growing sense among both educators and parents that we may need to next school year really shift the way we are approaching students being able to have phones."

Superintendent Pekel acknowledges it won't be an easy issue to tackle. He says the plans to bring together teams together from the district's high schools and middle schools in June to plan for the next school year and the cell phone issue will be one of the issues that will be looked at.


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