PRESCOTT, Ark. – New school policies in the Prescott School District are striking controversy among parents.
The policies include no phones allowed on campus, parents will have to pay $10 to pick up an electronic device if a student uses it during school and students will be counted tardy if they take too many restroom breaks for excessive periods of time.
“Cell phones in class while teachers are up there teaching… huge distraction,” said Superintendent of Prescott Schools, Robert Poole.
Poole said phones have also made it too easy for students to bully one another.
But some, like Rachel Shull who has grandkids in the district, said they are also a call for help.
“Think about the things we just watched,” Shull said. “It’s insane to me.”
Shull said she worries in the event of an emergency, like a school shooting, she would not be able to get ahold of her grandkids.
“When kids are texting their parents, what’s the first thing parents want to do?” Poole said. “Come get their kid out. That’s going to put the parents in jeopardy.”
The new policy over limited bathroom breaks is also resulting in major backlash.
“We were having problems with kids who were missing every class period staying 30 minutes, 40 minutes every class, period last year,” Poole said.
As a result, kids who are taking advantage of bathroom passes and being gone too often for too long can get marked as tardy.
“Those kids have to be in class,” Poole said.
But, this is another measure that has also gone too far for Shull.
“I told my granddaughter get up, walk out,” Shull said. “Be respectful, but if you have to use the restroom if it’s one of those situations and they say no, at that point you get up you walk out you use the restroom.”
Poole said he has heard from several concerned parents and family members over these new policies, and with many, he has been able to schedule a sit-down meeting to address their concerns and better explain the school’s reasoning. He encourages anyone with similar worries to call the administration office so they can schedule a similar meeting.