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Hamilton Southeastern Schools to reflect on the elementary tablet requirement

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – As a petition grows, Hamilton Southeaster School leadership said it’s going to review its plan to require elementary school students to use tablets.

In two weeks, an online petition against putting tablets in the hands of K-4 students has grown by more than 250 signatures. Concerns by parents were also raised Wednesday night at a school board meeting, prompting the district to re-evaluate.

“I think if parents have concerns, the district should always listen to the parents,” parent Abby Alterio said. “They know their children best.”

“I wouldn’t have a problem with them investigating before,” grandparent Scott Jones said. “That’s a big step, you know, very big step.”

An Indiana University associate professor also spoke Wednesday. She said the tablets have been successfully used in the younger classrooms across the state.

She said it allows for better learning and a way for teachers to better communicate. Finding ways on how to use tablets for those younger minds is something the district is already doing. There are more than 20 classrooms from kindergarten through 4th grade right now that have pilot program using the devices.

HSE leaders sent 24-Hour News 8 a statement about its review:

We appreciate our parents bringing their concerns and engaging in a conversation with our superintendent and the Board of School Trustees. Our administrative team will reflect on all sides of the conversation before returning with a recommendation in about three weeks.”

“Technology seems to be taking over in so much in our lives anyways,” Alterio said. “These kids are growing up with it. So why not start early and teach them how to properly use it.”

“You’re not going to go any place where they’re not going to use tech,” Jones said. “The sooner they learn it, the better off they’ll be.”

The district is also trying to help with cost.  Parents can either buy a tablet or rent it for the year. Leaders want to lower the annual rental fee by $35.