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S-O school board to consider cellular device ban

The Sibley-Ocheyedan School District Board of Directors on Monday will consider the implementation of a ban on personal devices that can receive a cellular signal for the remainder of the school year.

Recent harassment issues stemming from use of the social media app Yik Yak have not been able to be resolved through the initial investigation conducted by the district. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Department has been contacted to assist in the ongoing investigation and is working with Yik Yak to acquire information identifying those involved. The only identifying information to any Yik Yak post is the user’s phone number that created the account. Once those phone numbers are connected with their owners, criminal charges can be pursued and the school will assign disciplinary action up to and including expulsion. The district board will take recent Yik Yak activity, as well as the general distraction that cell phones and other personal devices create in the educational environment, when considering the ban on Monday. It would include but not be limited to tablets, cell phones, smart watches, fitness trackers, and earphones (unless the earphones were required for class participation.) This would be for employees and students from the start to the end of the school day and be re-evaluated at the end of the school year for the future. Student consequences for violations of the personal devices ban would consist of three steps:

First violation - leaving the device in the office for parents to retrieve; Second violation - out-of-school suspension; Third violation - recommendation to the Board of Directors for expulsion.

Monday’s meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the high school library. Input is welcome during the public forum portion of the meeting.

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