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School vs. Phones: The Battle Continues

By: Emily Stearns

The average screen time of a teenager is 7 hours and 22 minutes per day according to Phones have been a common issue for our school for a long time. Starting this year the school has recognized this issue and started making us “park” our phones.

Looking into the student handbook it states:

“Cell phone use is not permitted during class time. All phones will be “parked” in a specific spot designated by the teacher upon entrance into the classroom. Cell phones can only be used before school, between classes, at lunch, and after school. If not followed, the student who is insubordinate will meet with building administration and consequences will be given”.

I wanted to find out if this was actually being followed and if this system was working.

When talking to 2 students they believe that the phone issue is not being solved. We talked about how people are not actually putting their phones up and most teachers are not making them. Most teachers are telling them to put their phones away and that they don’t want to see them but never actually making them “park” their phones. When talking to Toni Gassmann in the office she states “they average 3 phones a week”. Meaning that students have been on their phones so much or not “parked” them so the office gets their phone.

The big issue with phones is that many people think as teenagers we are addicted to our phones. Senior Adriana Kerr states “Truth, most of us are addicted to our phones but you're just showing us that we are and we’re just not putting our phones up because we are addicted”. During my interview with these students, they admitted that yes they are addicted to their phones but no they are not putting them up.

I asked the question if they think that the parking system is working. Senior Charley Larsen stated, “A lot of people are in the mindset if you tell me I can’t do it I want to do it more”. We talked about how they think that we are too old to be having to “park” our phones. They think that we should have to learn to get off our phones when we need to on our own. If we do not pay attention or don’t listen that it is our own responsibility and we need to learn to manage

our time and attention ourselves.

Most of our teachers here have never been very strict on phones. During our years of high school, many teachers have known that phones have become more and more of an issue and have told us to put our phones away but, many didn’t do anything if we didn’t. That made me question if it was too late to solve this issue and the students agreed and thought that it is too late. We have already been addicted to our phones for so long now and are accustomed to

the action of being on our phones during class. When talking to Mrs. Staci Mercado, she states “It depends on how the teacher is handling it”. We talked about how every class is different about phones because every teacher handles the phone issue their own way. In her Composition 2 class it is mandatory that you “park” your phone for attendance and students actually listen and “park” their phones. Where in classes that it is not mandatory you “park” your phone students don’t.

Over the years of high school, we have seen phones become more and more of an issue but nothing serious was done about it till this year. The school is trying to solve this issue but many students do not think it is working and is “dumb”. Phones have now become a known issue in our society and school but the question is are you willing to change that?

Emily Stearns is a senior enrolled in Scholastic Journalism.

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