Cell phone policy includes parent contact

Ben Martin, Staff Writer

  Teachers can no longer confiscate cell phones or listening devices from students; however, the current policy has become more strict since the start of the school year,

  Due to the number of students using phones in classes.

  “We have seen an increase in cell phone issues this year,” Assistant Principal Matt Ambrose said. “We thought that administration reminding students not to use their phones during class would help.”

  This policy now includes a phone call to parents if students do not put phones away when instructed to. It is also able to change again in the future with possible alterations being taken away or added to it, allowing more or less room for students.

  “All policies are reviewed each year and can be changed,” Ambrose said. “The administration from each building and the district office is a part of that process; the Board of Education has the final say on all policies.”

  Junior Maddie Schmitz points out that the lack of listening device usage negatively affects students’ capabilities to learn in the classroom.

  “I’d say about half [of students in each class] use earbuds and phones,” Schmitz said. “I think it allows quick access to information on the internet and interaction with peers.”

   Phones may be able to provide quick access to resources the school computers may not be able to reach or in a quicker time frame.

  “I think it helps out students by using it to find information online for an assignment,” senior Ethan Whitney said. “Or check Google Classroom for homework or missing assignments.”

  Another valuable aspect to consider is what music the students are listening to that could distract them from learning.

  “Only if they use study music; I use study music over the system in my class,” English teacher Jim Coventry said. “Whenever it’s quiet time there is instrumental music.”.

Other educators such as English teacher Kristine Murphy believe there should at least be an attempt to have others learn in new ways.

“I think each student learns differently,” Murphy said. “And different approaches to learning should be attempted within the classroom.”

For now, these additions will take place for the rest of the school year. And for students who are already struggling, this could mean many more phone calls and meetings with deans.

Ambrose says, “If a student continually breaks the rules, the consequence can and will increase.”