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Parents React to Katy ISD Personal Device Ban


June 26, 2024

By Natalie Cook Clark


The Katy ISD Board of Trustees voted and approved this week a revised Discipline Management Plan that restricts the use of personal devices such as cell phones and smart watches. Starting next year, all students will have a Chromebook device.

Under the new plan, no devices will be allowed in elementary schools. Devices are also banned in junior high classrooms; except lunch time and this will be left up the principals’ discretion. In high schools, there will be no devices during classes, but the students can use them during passing periods and lunch time.


Phones Down; Chromebooks Up

I am excited for students to be able to put their phones away,” says Board of Trustee Dawn Champagne. “We want everyone to have a device provided by KISD that evens the playing field.”


This is made possible by the 2023 Bond that passed. All Katy ISD students will have a Chromebook to use during the 2024-2025 academic year.


Katy Magazine asked what families thought and many reacted our Facebook page.


Personal devices have been reported to cause distractions in many ways throughout district classrooms.  For this reason, many parents and teachers agree with the decision and the school board voted for this 6 to 1.


As part of the 2023 Bond that passed, all students will have a Chromebook starting this academic year. Personal devices have been reported to cause distractions in many ways throughout district classrooms.  


The Trouble with Phones

‘Kids need to learn to sit without doing anything. This will help them in the long run when a job doesn’t allow cell phone use unless needed for family etc. why do kids needs phones in hallways or at lunch. Maybe in the bags but not using them. We never had them. Increased adult and peer interaction would be more beneficial. (Coming from a parent whose kids live on their phones.)-‘ Shaye Kubesch Mathews


‘The kids are allowed to have phones just no phones out in class. Now that Katy is going to 1:1 there is no need to have a phone out for technological purposes. The gaming, ordering food to be delivered during class time, and all other abuses the kids do on their phones during class time. It’s a distraction in class and to others around them. Accept it. Schools can do better and kids can do better without the phone abuse.’ – Scott Veeder


Some parents were ok with the new plan, as long as they are able to reach their students for pick-up. One parent spoke about how long it took to pick their student up for an appointment. They were instructed by the school to text their student.


Many parents want to be able to communicate with students in reference to school activities and after school plans. With junior high and high school students having access to personal devices during lunch (high school has access during passing periods too,) students can still communicate with their families.


To Stay Connected

However, there are families that do not want their students to lose access to their personal devices.


‘With recent and past allegations of teachers/ coaches- I want my child to be able to contact someone for help at ALL times. Audio record if needed as well in desperate situations.’ -Adrienne Davitz


‘I am sorry, but I want my son to have his cellphone 24/7! There is soo much going on in this world that having access to 911, or me, is imperative. He knows to have it off, and to only use it in emergencies is key. I don’t care, his safety is my #1 priority. Y’all might disagree because of some who take advantage. But honestly, if my son takes advantage, he will pay the consequences, but he needs to have his cell phone with him 24 seven. This is not safe anymore I don’t care if it’s Katy or not! -Lindsey Huerta


More than a Phone

For many, personal devices are about more than communication. Diabetic students monitor blood sugar through apps now. Through 504 plans, families can work with the district to help students that this affects. But there are concerns about how this could make students feel singled out if they are allowed to use personal devices due to health reasons.


Apple Watches Banned

The plan restricts not just cell phones, but smart watches such as Apple Watches. This is why board member Dawn Champagne abstained during the vote.


“I’m worried that this will become a burden on our teachers,” says Champagne. “These watches are expensive and can easily be lost or broken.”


Champagne had wanted the watches part of the plan to be included in another part of the plan to help distinguish them from cell phones.


“The District does listen to parents and teachers, so if there is a concern with this then it will be addressed,” says Champagne.

1 Comment

Yukia Nanilas
Yukia Nanilas
Jul 01

 If students are permitted to use their personal gadgets for health reasons, there are fears that this could make run 3

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