Wauwatosa schools says it will strictly enforce its no cellphone policy this year

Posted at 6:42 PM, Aug 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-29 21:36:02-04

With school just days away, one local district is getting strict on cellphones. Wauwatosa students caught using phones in school this fall could face expulsion.

The district says the ‘no cellphone policy’ has been in place for seven years now, however this year they plan to fully enforce it after seeing the issue become a growing distraction.

Students at all Wauwatosa schools will have to place their silenced phones in lockers, backpacks or pockets throughout the day while in school buildings.

“My mom told me, we also heard about it when we went to register,” said freshman Lia Schlink.

"I kind of shrugged and said, ‘Well they had this same policy in middle school, it's just that no one really enforced it,’" said freshman George Dizard.

The Wauwatosa School District ensures this year will be different. District leaders didn’t want to talk to TODAY’S TMJ4 on camera; however they sent us the letter emailed to parents warning about the strict enforcement this fall.

In part, that letter says: “Students who are using or displaying cell phones during the school day will have the cell phones confiscated and appropriate disciplinary consequences will be assigned.”

District spokesperson Keller Russell says disciplinary consequences could come for students who continually disobey the policy. Consequences range from suspension to expulsion. Some parents applaud the effort.

"I think it's a great thing,” said parent Jennifer King. “It kind of focuses everyone on school work and not so much sidetracked on cellphones, games, things like that."

Students say it will take some time to get used to the change.

“Everyone uses [their phones] any time of the day,” said Dizard.

“It’s going to be different,” added Maggie Oleniczak.

The enforced policy will require both parents and students to plan ahead. Parents are being told to call the school office if they need to get a hold of their kids during the day.