One extreme to the other: New phone rules shock students

One extreme to the other: New phone rules shock students

Photo credit: Sasha Poradun

By Editorial Board

When we experienced the extent of the new phone regulations on the first day of school, we felt a bit surprised. Not having phones at all seemed a bit extreme compared to the “off and out of sight” policy that we were all familiar with. As the day went on, more and more complaints filled the hallways and classrooms from students in disbelief that their phones had to stay in their backpacks during class time.

It used to be that teachers regulated the use of phones in their classrooms. We could use our phones for educational games, research, and any other application that the teacher saw fit. But now, even for educational purposes, phones are not allowed to come out of our backpacks. The rule is not a complete ban, as we are still allowed to use phones during lunch and passing time. 

It’s no doubt that phone usage has been a prevalent issue during our years at school. Phones can be distracting in the classroom and cause students to lose focus, resulting in poor test grades, and on a greater scale, the student may not learn the content they are taught. It is good to see this problem finally being addressed in a legitimate manner, but administration could have done it in a better way. We went from practically no phone rules to a very strict regulations, one extreme

 to the other. 

There are times when we should be allowed to be on our phones in school. One of these times is during tutorial, a free period where students get to decide what to work on. There is no instruction that we should be focusing on, so students should be able to choose to go on their phones. If we complete our assignments and homework, is it really harmful to be on our phones? 

When we all eventually go off to college and enter the real world, we won’t have rules like this. We will have the ability to choose what is best for us. Yes, some people will make a choice that affects them in a negative way, but high school is the best time to make mistakes and learn from them. If a student makes the decision to go on their phone during class, they may do poorly on the test, and fall behind in that class, but they will learn that their actions have consequences. If we are being forced to keep our phones away, we will never learn the consequences. When we go off to college where these rules don’t exist, students won’t know this important lesson. 

Even though phone regulation is scientifically proven to help students learn better, it is not the regulation that is the problem. It is the 180-degree turn from almost no regulation to full enforcement that has hit students harder than expected.  Administration has forced this upon us abruptly after years of no enforcement, causing both a culture shock and a surprise to the student body.