ALBANY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – You hear a lot about students using their phones in school.

NewsChannel 34’s Jamie DeLine explains whether its the state or the schools that make the rules.

There’s no denying cellphones are a big part of our everyday lives.

“Cell phones are not going away. We know that. They are here to stay.”

So that begs the question, should cellphone usage be restricted in schools and should it be done on a state or local level? The New York State Education department says cell phone policy decisions are made at the school and/or district level and New York State Parent Teacher Association encourages schools to have a policy.

“Whether you allow them out during free time again those policies have to be developed at the local level each school district all 750 of them are very different.”

Recently, one New York State school district decided that starting in September, high school students would need to keep their phones sealed during the school day with a magnetized locking device.

In a mock hearing at the legislative office building in Albany, 12 students from schools in Schenectady and Montgomery counties discussed this very issue and whether the state should have more involvement. After listening to testimony from the State PTA, law enforcement, and school leaders, they shared their thoughts.

{{Kristian, Schenectady High School student}} “During breaks and lunch, and study halls, it’s okay to use a phone. But during lessons when the teacher is tutoring students and class and during and especially during quizzes, and tests, and exams they shouldn’t be used at all.”

{{Mekka Vasquez, Mohnassan high school student}} “I feel like the state needs to take more action and self and regulation, and this shouldn’t be some thing left up to just the schools itself think it needs to be some action taken by upper government.”

Yuilano Camarena, Mohanasson high school}} “In my opinion, we should not push any more regulation on the schools because I think it really is a district issue to handle because every district is different.”

Ultimately, the students came to a consensus and decided that the issue should be left up to the districts.

Reporting in Albany, I’m Jamie DeLine.