Houston ISD’s Madison High School begins no-exceptions cell phone ban Monday

Madison High School Principal Edgar Contreras said the strengthened policy was necessary to curb fights that have broken out at the school. 

Madison High School
Houston Independent School District
A strict cell phone policy went into effect at Madison High School on Monday.

A no-exceptions policy restricting cell phone usage went into effect at Madison High School at Houston ISD on Monday.

Triggering protests from students late last week and Monday, the uncompromising policy restricts them from bringing cell phones into the school.

“In an effort to keep our students and staff safe, any student who brings a phone to school will need to turn the phone in at the front office at the start of the school day and pick up the phone at dismissal,” Principal Edgar Contreras said in a statement to families on Friday.

Contreras said the strengthened policy was necessary to curb fights that have broken out at the school.

The high school went on a lockdown Friday after dozens of students turned out to protest the policy. Contreras said the lockdown was out of precaution and concerns of fights breaking out.

“Some students who are angry about this policy have caused disruptions on campus today, prompting the lockdown that is in place,” he said Friday.

On Monday morning, police presence at Madison High School was increased and droves of students turned out in front of the school to protest the new cell phone policy, KHOU reported.

Houston ISD strengthened its districtwide cell phone policy in August, which says students must leave their cell phones at home or in their backpacks.

“Student use of phones during the academic day disrupts learning and instruction, fuels disputes between students, and undermines the culture we are working to create in all HISD campuses,” according to the school district.

A first-time offense of the newly implemented cell phone policy across the school district will result in a student’s phone being taken to the office, allowing them to pick it up at the end of the day. If a student violates the rule a second time, the cell phone will be returned to a parent or guardian who must go to the school to retrieve it, according to the district.