New Cell Phone Policy: Good but Not Good Enough

Michael Greulich

It has been a long standing rule at WHS that cell phones should be neither seen nor heard from during school hours.  If they were, the student could be sure that some form of punishment would follow.  But, starting next year, this rule is lined up to be done away with.

At a recent meeting of the student handbook committee, the idea to change the policy on cell phones was proposed by Vice Principal William Hahn, the man at the head of the student handbook committee.  The concept was to allow cell phones during the 5 minute passing time between classes and during lunch.  After surveying the faculty on what they thought the parameters of the rule should be, it was decided that next year cell phones will be allowed in lunch only.  Although this is a big step in the right direction for the school as a whole, it is still not enough.  If cell phones are going to be allowed in lunch there is no reason that phones should not also allowed in the halls.

Allowing cellphones in both lunch and the five minute passing times between classes would be extremely beneficial to both students and teachers, helping them both be more productive and efficient.  The main concern with cell phone use is that students will be able to use their phone as a means of cheating, either looking the solutions up online or texting a friend for the answer during a test. However, if cell phones are only allowed in lunch and in the halls, students still would not have the chance to cheat in their classes.  This rule would appease both students by giving them the chance to use their cell phones and teachers by keeping the distraction out of the classroom.

Students have been pushing for more leniency in the cell phone use policy for a while and the argument to allow cellphones in school is a strong one.    If a student forgets something that they need at home —whether it is a lunch, sports equipment, or homework — they need a way to get in contact with someone at home.  If cell phones are only to be allowed in lunch, it may be too late for a student to call a parent because either the time that they needed the item has come and gone or, in most cases, the parents are at work and will not be able to run something up to the high school.  If cell phones are allowed in the five minute passing time between periods, students will still be able to get in contact with a parent before it is too late.

Another reason that allowing cell phones in the hall ways as well as the lunch room would be beneficial is in case  a parent needs to contact a student for any number of reasons.  Allowing cell phones in lunch would certainly has to be notified in a change in plans for any reason, the parent needs a way to get in contact with the student.  If students are not allowed to use their phones until lunch, they could miss what their parents had been trying to say, especially if the news is of any urgency.  With the current no-cell phone policy, parents have to call the school, talk to the secretaries, who then have to get in contact with a teacher, who then has to tell the student the news.

Prohibiting cell phone use in school just puts the school as a whole at a disadvantage.  As technology progress, you either have to keep up with the changes or get left behind.  Allowing cell phones in the lunch room is a huge step for the school as a whole, but it is still not enough.  It is only logical that if you allow cell phones in lunch, you allow them in the hall.  This would not only help out students and teachers, it would also make the school more productive as a whole.  And, Cell phones would still neither distract students nor aid in cheating attempts because they would still have to go away while in the classroom.  Allowing cell phones to be both in the hall as well as during lunch would not remotely hinder the learning process and would greatly benefit the entire school.