On Monday, the Houghton-Portage Township School's Board of Education gave final approval to a policy allowing students to use cell phones and other electronic devices in school.
The policy, which had been in place since the beginning of the school year on a trial basis, allows the use of electronic devices for middle and high school students during lunch time.
We applaud this action which shows the school board's willingness to change policy which reflects on changing times and technology.
Student's cell phones are no longer an extravagance or a rarity. For many students, especially in single-parent families or other situations where parents and guardians are no longer "at home," the ability to contact, or be contacted by parents is more than a matter of convenience, it is also a matter of safety.
As superintendent Doreen Klingbeil put it, in Garrett Neese's story in Tuesday's Daily Mining Gazette, "It's something the schools need to do today. We need to keep up with technology advancements."
The days of sending a note with a student either to or from school are gone. The ability of parents to contact their children, and vice versa, at a designated time is certainly needed in this era of high technology. We appreciate and support the Houghton-Portage Township schools for recognizing this.