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Lewiston aims to ban cellphones in school

The district wants to try to limit distractions in Lewiston Public Schools.

LEWISTON, Maine — The Lewiston Public Schools district is considering banning cellphones in schools. The district says the rules would differ based on the age of students. But overall, the ban is meant to cut down on distractions. 

"The back and forth between the keyboard and the posts can be brutal," Jake Langlais, superintendent of schools in Lewiston, said.

Langlais added that cellphones are becoming more and more of a distraction in schools. Right now, cellphone use is only discouraged.

"We want to teach kids to balance that the right way," Langlais said.

The district is proposing a few types of bans on cellphones, depending on the age of the student. Some grades will not be allowed to use their phones at all, while high school students could have their phones but only use them outside of the classroom.

But, of course, not everyone will be happy with this.

"We will have parents who will say, 'No, I want to be able to reach my child at all points in the day, no questions asked.' And you can't tell them that they can't, you know, that kind of approach," Langlais said.

There's a safety component for some families, especially in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting. Langlais said in the case of an emergency, teachers and faculty have phones to call for help.

"From an emergency situation perspective, if students needed to take it out and turn it on, they could take it out and turn it on," Langlais said.

Lewiston isn't the only district in Maine exploring this option. The Westbrook School Committee is expected to vote to ban cellphones for seventh- and eighth-graders at the middle school.

RELATED: Westbrook seeks to ban cell phones for all middle school students

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