All Things Regarding the New Phone Policy

Levi Gorden, Student Writer

Horace High School has implemented a new policy regarding a student’s use of phones in class. Phone use will now be completely restricted within a classroom setting, with all violations being punished. If you are found using your phone during class, including study halls and independent studies, it will be sent to the office by your teacher. The first time this happens you can pick it up yourself, every time after that, a parental figure will have to pick it up for you. In this article I will be going over student reactions, teacher implementation, and the potential impacts of this new policy.

Student Reaction

One of the most important things to regard when first implementing a school policy is how it effects student and how students are most likely to react. To gauge student reaction of this policy I asked many students for their thoughts. A few thought it was tyrannical, and unrightfully restrictive to student’s freedom. Fewer still thought it was an extremely good idea. What may be surprising is that the prevailing belief was that the policy was good in intention, but flawed in execution. The majority believed that, while it was ultimately good for students to restrict phone use, the application of it was ham-fisted and too extreme. This shows that while many students think the policy has good aims, even more believe that it is a flawed policy. It might be within the interest of students to negotiate the terms of the policy now that a baseline has been set.

Teacher Implementation

We will now be going onto what I believe is the biggest flaw of the policy, the discrepancy of implementation. Through my interviews with teachers I found that while they almost unanimously agreed that the phone policy was a good thing, many had differences in what they considered violations. I’ve interviewed teachers who have stated that phones will not be used in their class under any circumstance. While others have said that they could think of projects where it’s use would be allowed. Some have said that they would allow the use of headphones and earbuds if they were on before entering the room and the student didn’t look at their phone during class. While others would consider earbuds and headphones to be under the same jurisdiction of the phone policy. This highlights the biggest flaw within the policy, it fails at being truly all encompassing. There are too many edge cases that make this policy hard to implement, and the policy itself encourages teachers not to use their own judgement. So phones will be restricted even in scenarios where they can be useful.

Potential Impacts

Another essential thing to consider is the future of this policy. As previously stated many are dissatisfied with the implementation of this policy, this dissatisfaction will only grow as more contradictions are found. This could lead to verbal arguments between students and teachers, and foster a hatred for certain teachers who apply the rules more broadly. To prevent this the school can do a couple things. The school could open some aspects of the current policy to negotiation with a body like the student council. Alternatively they could reconvene and iron down some aspects of the policy amongst themselves. Either way, consistency is key regarding the implementation of this policy. Without consistency, no one involved will be satisfied.