Current state law says students aren't allowed to have two way communication devices on school property unless there is a school policy in place that allows otherwise.
Menomonie School District is in the process of reviewing their policy on the issue. Students can bring cell phones to school, but they aren't making calls during class and ringtones don't overpower lunchroom chatter.
Using the phones during school hours is banned, which is still more lax than state recommendations they not be brought at all.
"I think there's a middle ground here where we can teach students how to appropriately use these devices and provide sanctions for those who choose not to," says Superintendent Jesse Harness
With the technology that now comes with a cell phone, they aren't just for calling home. There are games, cameras, recording devices and text messaging. Those are features that could be distracting, used for cheating on tests, or harassing other students and that is what the board wants to prevent.
"What are some of those reasons we would allow for cell phones in our schools if any and when would we allow students to use cell phones?" Harness questions, the main questions the board will focus on.
The initial meeting was Tuesday evening, to look at what other school districts around the state are doing, but Harness expects more, including public hearings, will follow. The superintendent says the final policy won't come for months.