SHS cell phone policy needs to be revisited
by Emma Carder, staff writer
Students always find a way to go on their phones during class, and the majority of the time they get caught and get in trouble. This same cycle happens every day multiple times a day, but as you can likely agree, this cycle is not going to change anytime soon. So, it’s time to rethink why these phone policies are in place and whether or not they’re actually effective or making a difference.
For years now students and teachers have been at this war with cell phones due to school policies in place, but there are a lot of inconsistencies in actually enforcing it. At least once a day you hear a student getting yelled at for having their phones out, while other teachers don’t seem to care. In fact, some teachers think it adds “one more thing” they have to worry about each day.
Either way, what is the problem with using them? I say, if a student has finished their work or needs a quick break, then they should be allowed to go on their phones for at least a few minutes as long as what they are doing isn’t inappropriate or hurting others.
There is this saying, “If you tell a teenager they can’t do something, then they’re going to want to do it even more,” and that is exactly what’s happening in school nowadays. The more students get yelled at for being on their phones the more they want to do it just to be stubborn or because they just don’t care. Or, as many would argue, teens are addicted to their phones – without them, they sometimes feel stress and anxiety. So can’t we meet somewhere in the middle?
Here are some reasons why it’s time to revisit our no-phone policy:
Phones increase in safety: Students and parents feel a lot safer if their child has their phone on them because they are able to contact them due to an emergency or just asking them a simple question.
Cell phones can aid us in our learning. As more schools start using more technology and less paper, the more technically savvy we are becoming on computers and phones. Students will normally Google or Youtube something they need help with – does it really matter which device we use to help us learn? This also applies to calculators, notes apps, calendars, school email, and more.
I know many administrators, teachers and staff at SHS would disagree with a policy change which is completely understandable, but they would also have to look at it from a student’s perspective. Teachers believe that phones can be distracting and cause negativity throughout that student. They also believe that allowing phones in class is like allowing cyberbullying, which is clearly more of a bigger problem than just on cell phones in class. Another thing is that they may think there will be less drama if the student isn’t able to go on their phone. All these reasons are understandable but, with more trust and responsibility given to students if permitted to use phones, I think students would abuse it less.
There will always be behavioral battles whether a cell phone is involved or not, but banning cell phones from kids who are using it for learning or when they’re done their work shouldn’t be a battle teachers or students have to fight.
It’s time to revisit our cell phone policy and assess if it’s really worth the effort for the result. Ultimately, allowing more student choice and discipline is another life skill we should start learning here before entering “the real world.”