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By Terry Dean
OPRF has apparently accepted the old adage, "If you can't be 'em, join 'em," concerning student cellphone use.
Beginning this fall, Oak Park and River Forest High School will allow limited use of cellphones and other electronic devices by students; part of a pilot program the school has undertaken.
School board policy banned student cellphones entirely in the building until 2006, allowing them on campus but turned off and kept in book bags and lockers, though many students used them openly with little enforcement from adults. The school is apparently following the advice of a joint committee of students, teachers and staff that has been examining overall discipline policies and procedures in the last year. The committee recommended changing board policy to allow students full use of their phones during limited times and in limited areas, such as lunchrooms and the hallways during passing period.
The OPRF school board would have to revise its cellphone policy to allow permanent use of cellphones. The committee also recommended allowing other devices, such as MP3 players and portable gaming systems.