Directors of the Houston school district have decided to let each school set its own policy for how to deal with cell phones.
Some educators say the phones are an increasing disruption and that they need more authority to try to prevent fights, cheating and other distractions.
Committees of teachers, administrators and parents at each of the district's 305 schools will make the local cell phone rules. The school board agreed to the plan yesterday.
The local rules will replace the existing districtwide policy, which says only that phones can't disrupt class.
A district spokesman says schools won't have the authority to completely ban cell phones but will be able to limit when and where
Other districts have grappled with how to handle the effects of cell phones. In the Houston suburb of Aldine students can't bring phones into their schools, according to a spokesman.