The county school board will begin wrestling tonight with a new version of its policy banning portable pagers in school.
Current policy includes the pagers, often used by drug dealers, in a blanket ban on alcohol and firearms. But the school staff is expected to recommenda separate statement for the pagers during the meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the board headquarters on Riva Road.
A state law passed last year makes it illegal to possess pagers on school property.
The staff also is recommending that individual school principals be given some flexibility in deciding who may be allowed to have pagers on school grounds.
A doctor visiting his or her child in school or attending a school function, for example, should be allowed to keep a pager, explained Nancy Jane Adams, a school spokeswoman.
It is unclear when the board will take action on the proposal.
The board also is to hear about efforts to increase minority participation at Arlington Echo Outdoor Educational Center on the Severn River in Crownsville.
For years, the cost of those programshas excluded some students from attending the camp, Adams said. But scholarships and reduced prices have increased the number of minorities at the camp to reflect more closely their 17 percent representation in the school system.