Nevada Senate panel drops ban on cell phones in schools |

Nevada Senate panel drops ban on cell phones in schools

Associated Press

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada would drop a statewide ban on cell phones in schools and require every district to set its own regulations, under an Assembly bill approved Monday by a Senate panel.

AB138 repeals a state law that makes it a misdemeanor crime for students to have cell phones and pagers in school without a principal’s written permission.

Assemblyman David Goldwater, D-Las Vegas, says his measure recognizes the reality that students will carry cell phones. He said keeping the old statute but not enforcing it tells the students it’s acceptable to break the law.

The bill passed the Assembly 37-5 earlier this month over concerns that phones could interrupt classes. It was approved unanimously Monday by the Senate Human Resources and Facilities Committee and now heads to the full Senate.

The number of teens with cell phones has skyrocketed in the past three years. Several states — including California, Maryland, Oklahoma and Illinois — have recently repealed bans on phones in schools.

Nearly a third of surveyed households nationwide have one child younger than 18 using a cell phone, according to the Yankee Group, a technology and communication research firm in Boston. That’s up from 5 percent in 2000.