Students at two Roane County schools found themselves with some new freedoms when they returned to class this week.
Smartphones and tablets would now allowed in school.
It's a pilot program school officials are launching at Midway High School and Cherokee Middle School this year.
"To teach the responsible use of technology," said Midway principal, Scott Mason. "And hopefully, they'll take it a step further."
Mason said in the "real world," everyone is already using the technology, so the students may as well have access. The tech is allowed in hallways between classes, and during lunch.
Students must still turn off their phones before entering a classroom.
Midway senior, Aaron Woody, was a driving force behind the new policy.
"We get the technologies everywhere now, all over the world. So we need to train our students right now, to be able to use them responsibly tomorrow," he said.
Woody approached the school board with a "bring your own device" proposal, which other schools have already adopted. He was surprised at the board's willingness to hear more.
"I didn't think I'd be able to break them from [current policy], but they were all really supportive of it," Woody said.
The school held a "test run" at the end of last year. Woody said after an initial burst of excitement, everyone settled down. He expects the same results as this school year begins.
Senior Kaylee Burton was also part of the push for technology. On the second day of school, she said she and her friends are getting used to the idea.
"It's been going really well," she said "I don't think there's been one person caught with their phone in class."
Principal Mason said it's up to the students to earn more freedoms.
"We told our students, everybody in the county is looking to see how we handle this responsibility," he said. "And if we see an increase in tardies or violations, the director or the school board at any time can make the policy null and void, and we go back to our former policy."
Mason said if the trial is successful, other Roane County schools will also adopt the policy. Long-term, they expect to allow technology usage in the classroom, too.
After three years of cell phone bans, Woody is looking forward to a more open policy at school this year.
"Why not? Instead of fighting it, embrace it and use it for a good purpose," he said.