FCS’s New Phone Policy is Explained and Reacted to


Caitlyn Rocker

Martin’s 4th period science students pose with all of their phones out.

Caitlyn Rocker, Staff Writer

There has been much confusion at the school over Fulton County’s cell phone policy for next year.   

The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Vanessa McCray wrote about next year’s phone policy, specifying what the district decided. 

“Middle and High school students can’t use phones during class without the teacher’s permission. Phones may be used during non-instructional time,” McCray wrote.  

According to a copy of the district’s 2022-2023 Student Code of Conduct and Discipline Handbook that was emailed to Fulton County Schools’ employees on May 3, “If a student violates this rule which leads to the student’s personal communication device being confiscated by school personnel, it will only be released to the parent or guardian who must come to the school to personally retrieve the device.”  

Students had been hearing from teachers about next year’s phone policy, but it was unclear what consequences they might face for using their devices in class.   

Principal Ashley Agans clarified what the policy entails on Tuesday.  

Because of COVID-19, many more elementary school students have phones now, so the new policy is directed towards them, Agans said.  

On the other hand, for high schools, the cell phone policy has not really changed. 

“For us, all it says is that you should not have it in class unless a teacher wants you to have it out for learning purposes. This is how it has always been at Cambridge,” said Agans.  

Some students said their teachers had discussed potential consequences next year for cell phone violations; however, Agans said these teachers are being a “little overzealous” because they don’t truly know what will happen. 

“We do not even have the code of conduct that tells us what will happen yet. That’s not given to us until July,” said Agans. 

Some teachers said they are happy because the county will support them with the new policy.  

“I am glad that the county has a policy in place, and we have the backing of the county because phones are a genuine issue,” said English teacher Robin Butler.  

Science teacher Gretchen Martin agrees with Butler. 

“It is a great policy. Students are on their phones way too much,” said Martin. 

Martin also said, however, she believes this policy will be hard to enforce.  

“I think it will be hard to enforce though, unless we have something stating what happens on your first offense, second offense and third offense, and we follow through with the discipline of it,” she said. 

It could also make it difficult for teachers if some allow their students to have their phones out and others don’t.  

In addition to this, some students who heard about next year’s policy said they think it is a “dumb” idea and there should be no consequences for using their phones.   

“The new phone policy is a little harsh and it’s kind of dumb,” said sophomore Luke Blitz. 

Junior Delaney Mchale thinks not having a phone out in class could be a serious problem for students.  

“I think that not being able to have your phone could be a problem because if you need to reach out to your mom or someone for something important, you won’t have your phone and won’t be able to reach them as fast,” said Mchale.  

On the other hand, sophomore Aurora Ganies welcomes the phone policy. 

“I think it is a good policy because it helps us be able to focus more in class and not be tempted to look at our phones,” she said.