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Woodstock students protest no-electronics-on-school-buses policy

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WOODSTOCK--Call it the ultimate civics lesson.

Students in Woodstock have banded together to try and fight a policy that bans the use of electronics on school buses.

"School can be stressful and we get a lot of homework and that just takes something away from us that we can't do now," said 13-year-old Orion Newall-Vuillemot, a student.

The Board of Education voted to institute the policy at the end of last year after drivers complained the devices caused more disruption than quelled them.

"Things like kids taking pictures of one another and passing them around, getting out of their seats, crossing the isle, someone taking someone's electronic device passing it around, that person trying to get it back," said Dr. Francis Baran, superintendent of Woodstock Schools.

Woodstock runs its own buses and hires its own drivers. It's one of the largest districts in Connecticut, and students say the long ride can get monotonous. "My bus is kinda quiet but there's really nothing much to do so I feel like technology should be able to be used on the bus," said Kyla Murphy, a student.

The superintendent says he understands the request that the kids are making, but says safety comes first. "I don't want to be the superintendent who's trying to talk to [the media] in the future because one of our buses went off the road and we find out it was because of a distraction."

At Thursday night's Board of Education meeting the students presented the board with a petition, which was accepted.

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