Texting in school common despite bans

His cell phone is supposed to be turned off, but when Matt Truong gets bored in class, the East High School sophomore sends text messages — up to 400 times during the school day, he estimates.

"It's an addiction," he said.

It's fairly easy to get away with using a cell phone, especially with teachers who aren't very strict, added Ashton Bethel, a Southeast sophomore.

"You just go under the desk and hide it," she said.

A recent national poll shows that these Wichita-area students are in the majority when it comes to surreptitious cell phone use by teens.

About two-thirds of students who are supposed to keep their phones off use them during the school day anyway, according to an online survey commissioned by Common Sense Media, a California nonprofit that researches how media affects children.

"Even at the junior high level, they're breaking out iPhones," said Bailey Ketterman, who has worked as a substitute teacher at several Wichita-area suburban districts. "It's definitely a widespread problem."

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