Ban on cell phones in schools rescinded |

Ban on cell phones in schools rescinded

With a stroke of his pen, Gov. Gray Davis has made it possible for school boards to decide whether to allow cell phones and pagers on school grounds.

Approval of a bill authored by state Sen. Liz Figueroa, D Fremont means Felicia Sobonya may soon be giving her daughter Marie, a senior at Nevada Union High School, the cell phone she’s been wanting for a long time.

The news of the bill’s signing is indeed encouraging news, Sobonya said.

“I’m ready to give my daughter one only because so often she has to drive around looking for a phone that doesn’t work,” said Sobonya, who spent Thursday after school with a group of student health educators at Cafe Mekka in Nevada City.

“It’s a good law. We’re thumbing it up,” she said.

The law amends a section of the California Education Code that banned the use of cell phones and pagers in the classroom and around school grounds. It remains to be seen how the Nevada Joint Union High School District will implement the change in the law.

The prohibition of cell phones and pagers was enacted in the 1980s to stop on-campus drug trafficking.

Like many of his friends, Nevada Union senior Josh Jimenez, 17, said such devices simply make his life easier.

“It’s not vital to my everyday life, but it’s a great convenience,” he said.

Maggie Lickter, a fellow NU senior, said most students know better than to abuse the use of such devices by using them during class.

“I don’t see how this law can be a bad thing,” Lickter said.

In a statement, Davis said that by lifting the ban, “families can communicate better and students can feel a greater sense of security while at school.”

– The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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