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District 518 talks social media after northwest Iowa school bans devices capable of receiving cell signals

At Worthington High School, teachers set the rules on a classroom-by-classroom basis.

Stock image of a cellphone.
Stock image of a cellphone.
Photo by Gilles Lambert on Unsplash

WORTHINGTON — The District 518 Board of Education discussed options for dealing with negative behaviors on social media Tuesday, but opted against any ban on cellular-capable devices.

The discussion comes after the Sibley-Ocheyedan Community School District board in northwest Iowa approved a ban on April 11, stating that "Devices that can receive a cellular signal are not to be brought into the school building."

"Personally, I'm not sure what they're going to solve because as soon as those kids get home, it's going to start all over," said ISD 518 board member Brad Shaffer, adding that he hoped to keep an eye on the situation and see how Sibley-Ocheyedan fares in the future.

At Worthington High School, teachers set the rules for devices on a classroom-by-classroom basis, said Superintendent John Landgaard. At Worthington Middle School, phones must be kept in lockers. And some coaches for extracurricular activities collect students' phones when they're on the bus.

Landgaard said most of the time, bullying and other negative social media actions begin outside the school and only spill into the school after that.

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"Parents need to do a better job of monitoring their kids' activities on their phones or on social media, that's the bottom line," Landgaard said.

A more complete story will be posted as it becomes available.

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