Thoughts on the phone mandate; opinion-editorial

Alyscia Patton, Fine Arts Editor

The school instituted a new phone policy, stating that students can not have their phones out or use them during the instructional day. This policy should be revised because it puts both students and the school at risk. 

Students have abused their right to be on their phones during free time in the past, but it’s not an urgent enough issue to validate taking phones away during the whole day and ignore communication between students and their parents or bosses. Students need to know if their parents will be home or not because that tells them whether they have to babysit their siblings or not. Students with jobs also have to be able to communicate with their bosses.

The Student Handbook states, in exact words, “For safety purposes, the district permits students to possess personal mobile telephones; however, these devices must remain turned off during the instructional day,” but it is unclear what exactly the instructional day is. When looking at the words ‘instructional day,’ it tells students that phones are not allowed during the time students are being instructed. Students aren’t being instructed in between classes, at lunch, or before and after school. 

Some students need their phones to calm them down when they have specific health issues. Some students have tic and anxiety issues that cause them to go into tic attacks, anxiety attacks and panic attacks. Students play music into earbuds from their phones because it calms nerves and can help them keep calm during these attacks. Listening to music also helps students focus on their schoolwork. Allowing students to use their phones for music increases their well-being. Students can also easily contact their parents or even their doctors to take care of themselves. 

An easy solution would be to ban cell phones during class times but not during the entire day. That way, parents can still know that the kids will see their messages at lunch or between classes. This policy should be rethought and changed to benefit both the teachers and the students during class time.