Students and staff say blanket bans on cell phones are unenforceable, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and it’s that sentiment that has many Minnesota schools tweaking their policies–not in defeat, but to better align with reality. Richfield High School once had a total ban on cell phones. But Principal Jill Johnson said she started hearing confessions from teachers that they were just as guilty of sneaking a call during the day to their students. Now, Richfield schools allow cell phones; you just can’t use them during class. Johnson said that gives students a chance to show responsibility. "What seems like the easy thing to do is to just say ‘no’ to it. ‘Put it away, I don’t ever want to see those cell phones in school,’" Johnson said while looking at her own two cell phones at her desk. "But the reality is they’re such a fundamental in which we exist that not having them is so awkward it doesn’t make sense." Jennifer Tuuri’s first period yearbook class was a case in point. As Tuuri posted new grades, students seemed to make little attempt to hide their phones. Maybe it’s because yearbook is more relaxed than the usual lecture-style classes. "I’m texting my friend who’s supposed to be here to ask why she’s not," senior Sarah Flynn acknowledged. Flynn added that if she were trying to text on the sly, she could do it easily. It also helps that Flynn and many students are so proficient they can text without looking at their phones. Mostly they send harmless messages, like about dating or hanging out. But teens also use their phones for legitimate school reasons, like texting themselves reminders about homework…

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