Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening has approved repealing a ban on bringing cellular phones and pagers to school in 16 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. The ban will remain in place in Baltimore city and Baltimore, Caroline, Dorchester, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties.
Local school officials from other counties will work with the state Department of Education to develop their own policies.
The ban initially was intended to head off drug crimes and distraction in schools. But Ron Peiffer, a state Department of Education spokesman, said the state school board supported repealing the ban because many parents want their children to carry cellular phones for their own safety.
The prohibition, which applied to other forms of wireless technology, also prevented teachers and students from using some cutting-edge equipment in classrooms, Peiffer said.
“I think these other things have now outweighed the concerns about it,” Peiffer said. “Locally, if people still see the potential for problems, they can close it down.”