The Maine House rejected a bill that would have banned students from using cellphones at school.

The House voted 112-26 April 18 to reject LD 965. The bill would have prohibited cellphone use by students other than in the main offices of schools in an emergency.

Voting against the bill were Democratic Reps. Pinny Beebe-Center of Rockland, Vicki Doudera of Camden, Ann Matlack of St. George, Genevieve McDonald of Stonington and independent Rep.William Pluecker of Warren.

Independent Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos of Friendship voted for the bill.

"I invite anyone to observe what's going on in our schools. Kids are becoming addicted to cellphones, their attention spans in class are near zero, and with the new wireless technology, the temptation to cheat in class by looking up answers is enormous," Evangelos said.

"Quite frankly, I was stunned at the roll call that defeated this measure. It's really an amazing thing to watch. Kids addicted to cellphones become adults who then drive around while texting, some even become state legislators, walk down the hallways in Augusta glued to their gadgets, never even look up to take some air in. I'm sorry, folks, but it's a frightening future we're facing."

State Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden, said he could see cases where the use of phones in schools is desirable or necessary.

"The schools should make the policy and the school boards should be the arbitrators in complaints about the school's policies when questioned by students," Miramant said.

The Senate voted April 23 to go along with the House's rejection of the bill.