Cell Phone Challenge

Carolyn Fenerty, Writer

The Franklin High School administration has issued a challenge: only use our phones during passing times, or keep them in our lockers all day.

“I think that the challenge is a little unnecessary,” commented Madeleine Sarner, “Since it’s the end of the year and it’s only reinforcing rules that were already in place. But if it will allow us to use our phones with boundaries next year, then I think it’s worth it.”

Administration proposed not being able to access phones at all from 7:35 to 2:05, but student representatives counter-proposed the policy of being able to use phones during passing. The old way of doing things, where the use of phones was, for the most part, at the discretion of the teacher, is not an option anymore.

One student said:

“I think that it [the new policy] is kind of extreme. I also think that it’s understandable. But I don’t think you should be written up if someone sees your phone out on your desk.”

As of last week, teachers must now write referrals any time a student’s phone is seen during class. The number of students unable to adhere to the suggested policy determines whether phones will be allowed during passing or whether they will have to be shut up in lockers.

“If you’re not using [your phone] and the teacher can see it clearly isn’t moving from the table, then you shouldn’t be written up.” commented one sophomore. “And you should be able to listen to music.”

Phones can be incredibly distracting in the classroom, and it is difficult for teachers to monitor inappropriate sites or sites that distract students from learning when every student is using a phone.

FHS’s new policy would enforce the ban on phones during lunch and directed study as well.

“I think the policy’s harsh in not allowing us to use phones during directed study or lunch,” says Emily Mariano, “But besides that, the policy’s appropriate.”

However, phones can also be useful for educational purposes, like accessing the internet. Phones could also  be used for listening to music during directed study, and, for most students using a phone during lunch would not be much of a problem.

Some students thought that there was a bias among teachers about which students received referrals.

“If you’re going to write some people up,” complained one student, “write everybody up. I saw girls who were clearly using their cell phones yet they didn’t get written up.”

There is no chance of increasing or retaining the freedom we have to use our phones, though. We can only hope that we can at least use them between classes next year.