By: Julia Marchetti
For the current school year, Stamford Public Schools have decided to issue a new phone policy on students. Today, teachers pick between the choice of having a phone holder for their students or letting their students leave the phones in their backpacks. This policy is a new change for all, but it has been especially difficult on the students. I, for one, can say that the phone policy is needed, but not for the entire ninety minute period.
When talking to other students about the policy, most of them agreed with my statement. “The policy is a good idea, but when I’m sitting in class doing absolutely nothing, I don’t see what the big deal is if I use my phone,” said Jaya Thomas (‘24). Out of all my classes, the only one where the teacher is strongly for the policy is Spanish.
I took this opportunity to ask Mrs. Costa for her opinion on the policy. “I feel that it is stronger and easier for the teachers to enforce,” said Mrs. Costa. In class, she is really dedicated to keeping students off their phones, knowing that without them they will succeed in not just her class, but all.
Another issue is that students are unable to contact their parents without their phones. We never know what could happen during class and if we might need immediate contact with a parent. “I think it’s really unfair to all the students who need their phones to call their parents”, said Michelle Oziembala (‘24).
It is important for students to pay attention during class, especially when a teacher is talking, but when it’s time for independent work, using a phone should not be a reason for a student to get punished. Instead, it should be a privilege or a reward. When it’s time for independent work, students should get to decide if they want to use their phones, but teachers get upset if they pull out their phones to listen to music. This is unfortunate, considering that many strident individuals, including myself, work better with music.
Another change to the school year has been the block schedule. Ninety minute classes are especially demanding for students to stay focused on the entire time, whether they are on their phone or not. Sitting in class, doing nothing, after finishing work and not being able to go on our phones is difficult. Most adults (including teachers at Westhill), probably struggle with the urge to grab their phones as well. There are times where teachers won’t allow students to use their phones while waiting for the bell to ring but they use theirs.
Overall, school is much more important than anything on our phones, but not being able to have access to our own property during times of the day where students are sitting in class doing nothing is unfair. Westhill shouldn’t get rid of the policy, but the teachers who allow kids to have their phones on them during class should be more flexible when it comes to using them.