If approved, the cellphone and smartphone ban would start in August 2024.

This month, at the regularly scheduled board meeting, Marietta City Schools Superintendent Dr. Grant Rivera presented a plan for a phone locking system for students in grades 6-8.

The detailed plan, which has not been circulated with the community focused on students, will store both their phones and smartwatches in a locked magnetic bag. Students will carry the bags all day and, at the end of school, unlock them for usage. The Superintendent did mention exceptions that include needs related to documenting medical diagnoses and emergencies.

In the rationale for banning cell phones and smartwatches, Dr. Rivera identified four main problems: interruptions to student learning, harassment and bullying, stress and anxiety, and disciplinary problems due to inconsistent enforcement of the current policy.

Citing evidence-based harm to children, Dr. Rivera cautioned that cellphones and smart watches are “adult devices in kid’s hands” and focused on three goals for implementing this ban for the 2024-2025 school year: decreasing distractions and interruptions, increasing student interaction and engagement, and decreasing disciplinary actions related to technology use.

To ready the cellphone and smartphone ban and ensure staff and the community are ready, Marietta City Schools will ensure front desk staff are trained, streamline their disciplinary system, manage exceptions to the rule, and collect quality data.

At the board meeting, Dr. Rivera repeatedly stressed that students would keep their phones on their possessions so that they can access them in an emergency and so that teachers are not responsible for lost or stolen devices. During this device ban, parents will be expected to communicate with the front office for schedule changes or emergency needs.

Students will still have access to the Internet on school-provided devices (e.g., Chromebrooks), but the district is expected to implement more restrictions.

There are meetings for the next two weeks for parents and students to ask questions and learn more.  

Audience: Marietta Sixth Grade Academy (MSGA)

  • Date: May 28, 2024 (In-Person Meeting)
  • Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Location: MCS Central Office (250 Howard Street, Marietta 30060)

Parent Webinar (Virtual)

MSGA Student Meeting:

  • Date: June 5, 2024
  • Time: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Location: Marietta Central Office (250 Howard Street, Marietta 30060)

Marietta Middle School (Parent In-Person Meeting)

  • Date: May 29
  • Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Location: MCS Central Office (250 Howard Street, Marietta 30060)

MMS Parent Webinar:

MMS Parent Survey 

MMS Student Meeting:

  • Date: June 4, 2024
  • Time: from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
  • Location: Marietta Central Office (250 Howard Street, Marietta 30060).

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