Superintendent Issues Warning as Students Protest Texas School's New Cellphone Policy

Following a week of demonstrations by students over their Texas school's new cellphone policy, the superintendent of the district has issued a warning about potential consequences. 

According to, "hundreds" of James Madison High School students in Houston demonstrated in front of the building on Thursday. Some of the students carried placards that said, "You are not here to cage us or confine us," and "We are high school kids, not cellmates." Release us. 

Following the recent declaration that student smartphones were prohibited, there was a protest-sparked lockdown on Friday and a walkout on Monday, which preceded Thursday's rally.

As many other schools require, students at the high school cannot just leave their phones in their backpacks throughout the school day. Instead, they must turn them in to staff and pick them up at the end of the day, according to a representative for the Houston Independent School District who spoke with 

Additionally, they cannot use them at lunch. The high school's administrator, Edgar Contreras, put the policy into place to try and put an end to fighting on campus since it seemed that students were filming fights on their phones and then sharing them with others. However, students at the school claim that the phone ban is unlawful and compare the school's ethos to that of a jail.

Madison Rittenhouse, a student, tells KTRK, "I do not even feel protected." "They are making this so difficult for us, but I truly do want to get a decent education." For some, it could soon become even harder: Mike Miles, the superintendent of HISD, issued a warning to students on Thursday, threatening to suspend them if they protest. According to the Houston Chronicle, Miles said, "Walking out is harmful for kids, and those outside the system should not be promoting it." Supporting such type of conduct in adults, particularly those outside of the school, is irresponsible and unsafe. 

A state representative for education supports the new guidelines. According to Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, "you have to establish a learning atmosphere that permits pupils to concentrate," as stated to KTRK. 


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