Fairfax County high school bans cellphone use during classes

A high school in Fairfax County is banning cellphone and headphone use during classes after school officials say use has been at an all-time high and is a distraction to other students.

Herndon High School principal Liz Noto said the schoolwide policy began Monday, April 11.

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"Students will be able to use their phone during passing times and during lunch time, but once class time begins, their phones must be turned off and put away," Noto said in a letter to the school community. "There are a few exceptions to this rule, including the use of the phone to monitor medical needs and some specific documented learning needs."

Noto also said teachers are allowed to provide students with a five-minute phone break during class and may assign learning activities that might require phone use -- such as using the camera during photography class.

Noto added that if parents need to get in touch with children in an emergency they call the main office.

"Teachers will be following through on this new policy very diligently. It is our priority to engage you student in learning and this is a major step toward that goal," Noto continued in her letter. "Please help reiterate the importance of this new policy with your student."