Lucas Welling leans in for a kiss from his girlfriend, Nicole Truxes, during lunch at Mountain Pointe Monday, Aug. 20. Students are getting used to the ban on portable electronics, and are actually having more face-to-face conversations.

Two weeks into the school year, Mountain Pointe High School's controversial policy on iPods and other recreational technology during school hours is showing a positive outcome, school officials say. "With all the media coverage, I think people just misunderstood the policy," Assistant Principal Patricia Goolsby said. "We haven't eliminated or banned them. We understand they are a part of society today and are needed for emergencies and rides after school." By implementing the new policy this year, Mountain Pointe became the first Ahwatukee Foothills school to no longer allow cameras, video recorders, portable DVD players, MP3 players, iPods, CD players, pagers, laser pointers, headsets and any game-playing devices on campus. Additionally, cell phones are not allowed to be seen or used during the school day, including passing periods and lunch. "During school hours there is still a way to communicate without cell phones," Goolsby said. "If something happened, I would think parents would come to school and tell their child, not call them on the phone and tell them." What is surprising to the staff at Mountain Pointe is that the biggest complaint from students does not concern cell phones: They are more upset they can't listen to their music during lunch and passing periods. "They say things like, 'I don't understand why you're doing this. It's our music and our lunch,'" Goolsby said. "But by and by the students have been really terrific about it. "When I walk around at lunch it is so different. Kids aren't shutting themselves off; they're talking to others and communicating," she continued. "By eliminating these distractions we promote socialization. Students are making friends and talking to each other." Mountain Pointe continues to see a dramatic decline in the number of cell phones reported daily, and teachers report an increased positive atmosphere in the classroom since implementing the new policy. Corinne Frayer can be reached at (480) 898-7917 or cfrayer@aztrib.com.

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