What’s up with the Phone Policy?

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We’ve all heard phones buzz in class before. We’ve all had teachers who confiscate these phones. We all know that there is a literal price to pay (either $10 or an hour of work) for using our phones during school hours. But have we all stopped to think if our school’s phone policy actually makes sense?

Phones are such a big part of each of our lives; we use them to communicate with friends and family, to take pictures, to listen to music, to set alarms, and so much more. A recent survey showed that 83% of our high school’s students think phones should be allowed during free periods, but not during class, and 4% think phones should be allowed all day. Some of these students’ reasons for thinking so include:

“Since schedules constantly change, it seems like we should be able to contact others if needed. Going to the front desk to do so takes longer, so it would be easier to do it from our phones.”

“They should be allowed because some people need to communicate with people who are in different time zones… frees are your own time so you should be able to do whatever you want unless you’re distracting others.”

“…People could get distracted during class but they should be able to use [phones] during frees. We already have our laptops so why not phones?”

“Sometimes you need to talk to your parents. It prepares us for the freedom we get later in life/in college by giving us some freedom to choose how to use.”

“I understand that in the past, when phones were used only to communicate, it was considered rude to use your phone when around a group of friends. Phones used to be something that took away from living in the moment and spending quality time with friends. But, this day and age, phones are used for so much more. I wish that I was able to show funny videos or vines to my friends during frees to add to the time we’re spending together…The culture around phones has changed… they do not take away from the time we spend with others… I don’t feel that phones could negatively impact us or those around us during frees.”

However, 13% of those who took the survey think phones should not be allowed at all during the day, thus agreeing with the current phone policy. Their reasons for thinking so include:

“Phones shift the community focus to social media and outside sources rather than the other students and school work. Phones should not be allowed for the same reason Netflix is blocked: they detract from the student experience. If a student needs to use a phone urgently, there are options to use phones other than an individual’s cell phone.”

In addition, many students who took the survey expressed anger regarding the cost of getting one’s phone back if it has been confiscated. Some of these students said:

“Even if phones are still not allowed, I do not think it is fair AT ALL to have to pay $10 if you are found with a phone. Even though this money goes to charity, not everyone can afford $10. Many people make less than $10 per hour at their jobs… I think it is one of the school’s most unfair and elitist rules.”

“WE shouldn’t have to pay to get our own possessions back.”

“…$10 is way too much money to have to pay and an hour of work is practically impossible to find time for.”

All in all, 87% of high school students do not agree with the current phone policy. Most students do not think phones detract from the student experience or that using phones during free periods could negatively impact anyone in any way. If majority does in fact rule, then the phone policy needs to change.

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