Cell Phone Policy: Eliminating the Gray

Conor Lemanowicz , Class President

For many of us, being removed from our cell phones for the whole day would be unimaginable. However a new FHS policy could do just that.

Although nothing is official for next year, this new policy would prohibit students from using their cell phones during school hours. At a student government meeting this Tuesday morning, the idea was officially introduced to the executive board and was met by large amounts of protest.

The school wants to eliminate the distraction caused by cellular use in class. Our school’s currents cellular policy is a rule that many of us break on a daily basis and has largely gone unenforced. The lack of enforcement against unwarranted cellular use is no doubt becoming a widespread problem.

However, the question now is, how can we alter our policy to crack down on inappropriate use while also giving students access to the convenience of cell phone use?

 The new school next year will come with a large upgrade to the technology that is integrated within the classroom. Next year, FHS will be a “one to one” environment meaning all students will receive a device that can be used in class. This will eliminate all need for cell phones in the classroom.
Let’s be honest though. While most of us try to use the argument “Cell phones have great educational uses”, what we really want from cell use is the ability to communicate effectively. By this I mean the ability to text. Of course the administration is not going to change the policy simply so we can text in school. In order to get the administration to reach common ground with the student body, we must compromise.
The secret to reaching an agreement with the administration is to present a policy that eliminates all gray area in the rules. In other words, the policy must have zero loopholes. As it is right now, cellular use in the classroom is sometimes allowed at the teacher’s discretion. Many students take advantage of this and use their cell phones freely.
This must end next year. Since there will be no educational need for cell phones in the classroom, there will be no excuse for their use. If a phone is visible, it will get confiscated.
However, the four passing periods throughout the day are a different story. Those periods are suppose to be our time to do what we need to do. If that means using our phones, then so be it. It doesn’t interfere with learning and takes no more time out of our day other than what we already have. All this policy would require is a total of 20 minutes throughout the day that are already given to us.
I believe that if we agree that cell phone use in the classroom is inexcusable then they will also agree that our five minute passing period should be free for us to use our phones. By eliminating loopholes we can create a black and white rule that both the administration and the student body can agree to.