EXCLUSIVE: OCPS Superintendent details impact after implementation of school cell phone policy

Orange County, FL — In August of 2023, the Orange County Public School District approved a policy banning students from using cell phones during class.

The policy says, students must keep their cell phones turned off and put away during class hours, except in the event of an emergency or if the device monitors a medical condition. The policy also includes devices such as headphones and smart watches.

The policy, which has been in effect for the 2023-2024 school year, is said to be doing well in it’s efforts to deter students from taking their phones out during school hours.

OCPS Superintendent Dr. Maria Vazquez, in an exclusive interview, spoke with Orlando Morning News host, Scott Anez, to discuss the success of the policy.

“We are having a wonderful school year, and the implementation of some of those new rules and regulations have gone rather smoothly for us,” Dr. Vazquez said, “We knew it was going to be difficult at first for students to adapt to the new policy, which does not allow the use of cell phones from bell to bell, except for educational purposes, but each of the schools have done a phenomenal job in transitioning to the new policy.”

Dr. Vazquez said the new policies success has gotten the attention from other school districts, who are asking OCPS for guidance in implementing a similar policy to their own districts.

“Teachers have acknowledged there is much more interaction, attentiveness and fewer distractions”, Dr. Vazquez said. “We have taken a look at our first semester disciplinary data and what we have found is we have seen a decline in bullying, cyber bullying and fighting.”

You can listen to the full interview with Dr. Vazquez below on the Anez Sez Podcast:

Casey Wright

Casey Wright, WDBO News & Talk

Casey is a former Producer, currently a News Anchor/On-Air talent at WDBO news.





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