Cell Phone Policy: It Never Changed

A+student+absorbed+into+her+phone+while+walking+on+the+street.+

Alexander Lyubavin

A student absorbed into her phone while walking on the street.

Funny how an electronic device can easily drive us from learning and have us completely absorbed in another world. We hear a buzz or see a light come on and our focus instantly turns to our cell phones, and we forget about the world around us.

Students have been getting distracted easily from their learning because of different social media outlets such as Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook. An article titled “Negative impacts on smartphones in the classrooms” gives an example on how going on your phone in the classroom can stop the teacher from teaching because he has to address you to get off your phone and pause his discussion to the class.

That is why this year at Apple Valley High School, administrators have established a consistent policy on cell phones being put away during class and not to be taken out from pockets or backpacks. Instead of having one or two teachers enforcing the preexisting cell phone policy, every teacher at AVHS must enforce the policy to help students and teachers maximize learning time.

Assistant Administrator Paul Tinder said, “The amount of data and referrals coming in from cell phone use in class is the main drive for changing the policy and making it a school wide statement to be enforced by all teachers.”

AVHS physics teacher Mr. Voltin explains, “ Any policy has its benefits and disadvantages. As an educational institution it would be irresponsible and idle to not intervene on behalf of the learner. Our goal as teachers is to assist the learner better improve their future quality of life.”

The administrators at AVHS wanted each class to be the same in how they enforced the cell phone policy. They wanted to make sure that a geometry class was the same as an AP Euro class in that the teachers were putting the same emphasis on the absence of cell phones.

AVHS senior AnneMarie Roggow says, “Personally from what I’ve seen the cell phone policy hasn’t really changed in some class rooms, but in some [it has].”

The main reason the cell phone policy is more strict is for the students’ own benefit. They come to school to learn and gain knowledge that will help them in the future. AVHS principal Michael Bolsoni said, “Sometimes students are walking into class on their cell phones and won’t be fully there. They are thinking about when that next text will come. It makes them half absent in the class, which makes it difficult for them to engage in the curriculum being taught.”

As some of us go off to college, we want advice on what to expect  and guidance on taking the right steps. The underclassmen want to know what classes to take in order for their time at AVHS to be successful and rewarding. With the counselors’ days being filled up, we can always go to the administrators, but not when 20 percent of their time is being consumed with students who are consistently on their phones and needing referrals, as Mr. Tinder notes his schedule used to be.

As students, let’s be smart on how we use our cell phones and when to use them. Let’s be one step ahead of the game and show the staff and administrators that we can be in control of our phone habits and be able to put it away for 50 min a day.