Students, staff divided over study halls

Dylan Udziela, Opinion Editor

Study hall is a routine part of school schedules, known to all. It’s the half hour of grace granted to the studious, and the Valhalla for the sleepy souls who need to catch up on sleep.

But there is a division between students and staff on what study hall should consist of. Where does one draw the line, between educational opportunities and freedom to socialize?

Many teachers side against the use of an unstructured study hall, citing it as a violation of district policy.

“Cell phones are not allowed during the school day per district rules. Therefore, they should not be allowed during study halls since they are held during the school day,” Jim Kappas, social studies teacher, said. “If I had the ability to allow it, I would not. I believe they can distract others and create liability issues.”

Kappas holds a valid point, as researchers and school staff alike attribute the free usage of cell phones in school as a catalyst for cheating and otherwise inappropriate interactions.

It is also no secret that a large portion of students defer from regular assignments in favor of sites such as but not limited to, twitter, Instagram, and other various social media sites.

However, many students still advocate for the use of phones in study halls.

“I feel it would help those who like to listen to music while they work, and provide online resources,” Alix Awalt, junior, said. “I would allow it, but with no texting, and headphones required.”

“I believe that phones should be allowed in study hall, but the rules are: not too much noise, some websites blocked, and no phones allowed,” Luke Phelan, senior, said. “I [also] believe study hall should be optional in case of missing credits that need to be made up.”

Some teachers partially agree with the idea of optional study halls.

“I think study hall should be optional for upper classmen who have earned at least a specified grade point average, such as a B average,” Darren Kobliska, social studies teacher said.

“I think these students have proven to be academically responsible and should be rewarded for it if they wanted a full lunch period rather than having a half-period of study hall,” Kobliska added.

To put it bluntly, there is no black or white on this issue. Both sides have their validity and their faults. A compromise which allows for students to decide what to do in their study hall, aside from leaving or cell phone use, is a possible compromise to decide where the line is drawn.