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New Rules Stirs up the Crowd

Grace Tadajweski l Editor-In-Chief

After a strict set of rules pertaining to school cellphone use was outlined at the start of the year, the cellphone policy is once again being emphasized going into the second semester.

“As we said in the beginning of the school year, phones are disruptive to learning,” said principal Chris Groff. “It’s nonnegotiable. We are expecting everyone to meet these expectations.”

Groff explained that while the rules may have seemed more lenient recently, they are still being enforced. Depending on the teacher’s thoughts, a student may be issued a warning and then detention if they are on their phone during class time.

“As is the case most of the time, most of our students just do what they are supposed to do; they just go about their business,” said Groff. “Do I think the kids love this? No, of course not, but, no doubt, it’s a disruption.”

These policies will stay in place further in the future as well, for Groff plans to maintain them for years.

“I think this first semester was just so much better than last year, but there is still room for improvement as we head into the second semester,” said Groff.

Social studies teacher Thomas Waranavage noted that despite the year-round policies, he has seen more students on their cellphones in his classroom recently.

“I mean just from stuff that we covered in psychology class, you can’t switch your attention,” said Waranavage. “I want kids to be present in the moment, here in the now.”

Supporting the cellphone policies, Waranavage believes that students cannot focus on more than one thing at the same time.

For some teachers, the policy affects their prior classroom rules very little while, for others such as art teacher Adam Leonard, their classroom rules are very different now.

“Usually for the last 20 years, students were allowed to listen to music while they worked on their projects, but now they can’t unless I put on old person music,” said art teacher Adam Leonard.

To start off the semester, English teacher Christin Opreska reiterated all cellphone use policies to her new classes.

“Cellphones and screens are an integral part of our society, but they are a distraction,” said Opreska. “It is my hope that we can use technology in a way that enriches learning and does not take away from it.”

Because students use their cellphones differently during school, they also share a variety of opinions regarding the policy. Junior Emma Johnson does not believe that the additional stress on the cellphone use policy will change her personal cellphone use.

“I think it’s stupid that we can’t even have our phone on our desk,” said Johnson. “I just think it’s stupid that teachers would get in trouble too if they saw our phone.”

While some students are passionate about the policy’s ineffectiveness, others feel more neutral.

“I don’t really like the rules, but there’s nothing that we can do about them because of the principals,” said sophomore Austin Del Hoyo.

While phones are restricted because of their believed hinderance to learning, some students see the benefits of cellphone use in a classroom setting.

“I understand why students shouldn’t actively be on their phones, but I think if the teacher is not teaching and is comfortable with the student using their phone for their calculator or a recording, that should be allowed,” said senior Alyssa Vandett.

According to Vandett, she does not use her phone frequently in school. Rather, she checks it at the end of the period or listens to music if there is time before the bell rings.

“I don’t think this will completely restrict phone use because some teachers will still feel comfortable with it, but I definitely think this (re-emphasis) and the prior policy decreased phone use,” said Vandett.

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