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Proposed ordinance to fine students for cell phone use "crashed and burned"

KEWASKUM, Wis. (CBS 58) - A local village doesn’t think students should be ticketed for using cell phones in school.

That was the decision by the Kewaskum Village Board Monday.

The school board asked the village to pass an ordinance that would fine students $124 if they repeatedly used cell phones in schools without permission.

But not long after discussion started at Monday’s board meeting, it was voted down unanimously, 0-7.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ordinance go down in flames as badly in the history of the village,” said Board President Kevin Scheunemann.

Scheunemann says it was clear this ordinance didn’t stand a chance.

“You can tell that the village board is definitely against this ordinance,” he said.

“I thought it’d be a close vote so a little shocked that it was unanimous,” said Police Chief Thomas Bishop.

Bishop helped draft the ordinance to try and help the school district.

“They were looking for a little help, to have a little teeth in the policy, they now that a couple of offenses are going to be detentions or suspensions but eventually you’re going to have a couple of those kids who just keep violating and they wanted just something else to be able to use in those situations,” said Chief Bishop.

Only one school board member showed up to the meeting, and said he didn’t know the village was considering an ordinance.

“The district administration seems to be running a little rogue outside the school district’s school board’s permission and that’s a little bit shocking to me,” said Scheunemann.

In the end, the board wasn’t comfortable with the city handling discipline in the schools.

“You saw here tonight, the audience reaction was against it and if the school administration is not going to be here to defend it, that’s what’s going to happen in a democracy,” said Scheunemann.

Scheunemann says he’s open to an ordinance like this in the future, but it would have to be carefully worded.

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