Phones: Cool In School?

Should phones be allowed for students during break and lunch?

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Nicolas Herrera from Unsplash

Cell phone use at school is debated.

Olivia Woo, Contributor

The survey shows the students and faculty’s opinions on whether phones should be allowed.

It’s a well known fact that cell phones are strongly discouraged in the classroom. They are distracting, non-beneficial for students, and they slow down the process of learning. But what about the time that students spend outside of classrooms? In Beatty Middle School, cell phones are restricted before school, during school, and during breaks. If a student is caught with a phone out, they get two warnings before their phone is taken away. So what should be the norm? Should phones be banned any time, any day, as simple as that? Or should students be allowed to have a little more freedom? Students and faculty have given their opinions on this situation.
7th grader Isabella Holbrook says, “I think we should allow students to use their phones during lunch and break. This is because we are not in class, leading to less distractions. Teachers won’t have to worry about whether phones are affecting learning or not, because students won’t be in class while on their phones.”
7th grade student Trinity Kim disagrees. “In my opinion, that rule is reasonable because the school rules state that no phones are allowed to be out during school hours. Also, the staff might want us to spend our breaks off of our devices, rather than being on them for an extra 50 minutes. People may not interact as much during breaks if they used their phones. Break should be a time to socialize.”
Vice principal Mrs. Clarke has also shared her opinion on the matter. “I love cell phones. They’re a super cool tool. But the reason why we don’t allow them is because right now, students don’t know how to use social media appropriately, and they’re using it to bully other students. They’re using it to record bad events and show them on social media. We want this school to be a safe space. I don’t know what’s filtered on your phone. There’s a lot of R-rated and X-rated things on the internet, and I don’t know what your parents want on your phone. So unfortunately, we’ve had a lot of students make very bad choices with phones, so that is why we have these rules. For the safety and protection of all of our students, to make this a safe space, and to help students focus on their learning.”
To get more opinions on the topic, a survey of 47 students and teachers was taken. 28 people stated that phones should be allowed, 15 voted against phones, and 6 individuals were neutral or believed that phones should only be allowed for certain scenarios. STEM Aviation and Science teacher Mr. Kopaczewski said, “I think that phones should only be allowed for emergencies.” English teacher Mrs. Harris stated that “Students need to talk to each other and socialize, instead of spending free time staring at a screen.”
Phones are used by people all around the world today. Whether it’s used for social media, communicating with loved ones, or simply for entertainment, cell phones are an essential device. But the question is if they are essential for school. So: are phones really cool in school?