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Katy ISD’s new policy forbidding personal devices sparks debate between parents

KATY, Texas (KTRK) — A Katy Independent School District parent reached out to ABC13, saying people are “outraged” over a new technology policy headed to the district.

The parent told Eyewitness News that the new program prohibits students from using their personal devices, such as cell phones, in the classroom beginning next year.

A spokesperson from the district told ABC13 this is part of the Class 1:1 program made possible by a 2023 bond.

Every student in third through 12th grade will receive a Chromebook from the district in August.

Students will no longer be able to use their phone or tablet in class as a result.

Katy ISD says it’s to make things more consistent when it comes to instruction, in addition to ensuring students who don’t have a personal device are able to have the same technology as their peers.

The district’s website said the policy on cell phone usage at school will change once the computers are issued, but no specifics were immediately provided.

Eyewitness News spoke to one parent who said she thinks this is a terrible idea because she likes being able to quickly communicate with her child in the event of something like a lockdown.

Another parent, Valentina Sepic, said she loves the new policy.

Katy ISD is enforcing a new policy forbidding students to use personal electronic devices, parking a debate between parents.

“I think the personal devices are a distraction,” Sepic said. “They’re in school to learn, so distractions should be removed.”

Nidhi Kundalia said she’s in favor of less technology in the classroom across the board.

“I appreciate what technology is doing, but I think kids need to concentrate on the traditional ways,” she said.

Kundalia added that she didn’t want technology to go away, just be used less frequently.

She also worries about the cost of maintaining the laptops once they’re in the hands of students.

The final plan for the new policy isn’t finalized, but Katy ISD said they’d keep Eyewitness News up-to-date once things become official.

This story comes from our news partner ABC13 Houston.