Staff Editorial: Device expectations reminder

Reiteration of cell-phone policy creates confusion


Alicia Mainjeni

In room B241, senior Fiona Petrie reaches for her phone. Sherri Fox uses “Phone Jail” to phone usage in the classroom.

With phones becoming more of a distraction more often, Park has made an attempt to implement the student cell phone policy. The Echo Editorial Board unanimously believes administration should communicate with teachers and students more effectively rather than only putting it in the 6425.

Admin made an effort to make the student cell phone policy more clear, as the learning of students has been negatively impacted by devices. Administration did this by sending a reminder of the cell-phone/headphone policy in the April 17 edition of the 6425 Newsletter. The policy suggests that students don’t bring their headphones or devices to school and reminds staff and students of the consequences if students use their devices in class. With this policy reminder, administration believes that it will minimize classroom disruption and the loss of expensive devices. 

While the goal of this policy is to reduce in-class disruption, it is causing a bigger disruption. The Board believes that the consequences the policy has put in place are more of a distraction than students using phones and headphones in class. Teachers stopping class to retrieve a phone from a student is often a distraction to the class rather than only the student. A number of students use their cell-phones/headphones to focus and dismiss such distractions.

Since it has been a challenge for students to use their phones as a resource in the school setting, one way to surpass this issue would be by reinforcing reminders about phone usage at home. It is not the teacher’s fault that the parents and guardians of students don’t tell them to put their phones away. Knowing when to not be on your device is also a life lesson and a teaching opportunity for parents and guardians. It is a teacher’s job to teach the class, not focus on one student who is prioritizing their device.

This policy is also taking a resource away from learning in the classroom. While Chromebooks are helpful at times, they often do not have access to sites that teachers use frequently. This is an issue in classrooms daily and the next thing to resort to is typically cell-phones. Without them, we lose access to online activities that are beneficial to our learning as students.

The Administration’s reminder has caused students to lose an important asset. While teachers want their students to learn from in-class lessons, it becomes challenging to force students to be present. The Board recognizes administration is striving for accomplished undistracted education. That being said, The Board unanimously believes administration should communicate their expectations in phone usage more clearly to ensure better productivity. This will make both students and staff more aware of sudden expectations and reminders of school policies.