Ring! Ring!

Do you know where your child’s cell phone is?

Better not be in his or her pocket during Florida Comprehensive Assessment Testing next week, or their test will be instantly invalid.

This year, Florida Department of Education officials have issued stricter guidelines for cell phones and electronic devices than ever before.

While students have historically been prohibited from having electronic devices in their possession during testing, the previous policy merely warned students that violation may result in disqualification.

Now, if a child is found with any electronic device that reproduces, transmits, calculates or records, their test will be instantly nullified, no questions asked.

“Our district actually did have three violations (during high school testing) this fall and all three tests were invalidated, so we know they mean business,” district testing specialist Linda Peirce said. “The kids and teachers prepare really hard for this, and we would hate to have a test invalidated because of a cell phone.”

Two of the students were caught with cell phones in their pockets, while the third had finished her test, placed it facedown on her desk and gone in the back of the room to read a magazine — but broke the rule when she picked up a friend’s Blackberry.

The new rule is due to security concerns involving camera phones and Internet usage through portable devices, she said.

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