Revised phone policy causes annoyance for students


Andrew Wu

VBCPS School Board Policy 3-65 prohibits all personal devices in the classroom on August 2022.

New phone policy causes inconveniences for students after a unanimous vote on Aug. 23, 2022, at the VBCPS School Board meeting.

Last year, there was little to no enforcement of the previous phone policy, which led to misuse and overuse of cell phones. This year, the overly strict enforcement prevents students from cell phone usage in non-instructional times, such as study blocks. The phone policy should only apply when the teacher actively gives instructions, which will then allow cell phone usage to be more flexible.

According to an article published by Principal Simona Johnes, teachers should embrace the new changes in the classroom and empower students to be digitally responsible. Cell phones can be considered as an additional tool instead of a distraction. In cases of emergency, cell phones give students the ability to communicate with family and peers. Currently, parents must contact the school office to reach their child; however, in important immediate instances, this can cause trouble. Cell phones can be beneficial for students with photographic notes or even save the school money from resources such as paper, ink, textbooks, etc.

In addition, allow students to complete assignments more effectively. Some will argue that Chromebooks are all that students need, but these school-issued devices have many down sides.

Unlike other high-end computers, they do not have much storage capacity, therefore it is easy to encounter technical difficulties. Many useful websites are blocked under school administration by Securly; therefore, resources are limited on these devices. Cell phones, on the other hand, offer unlimited access to the internet and thousands of resourceful websites for students.

Like anything, cell phones can be misused and cause problems in the classroom.

There are a few classes, such as photography, journalism, music or art classes, who need cell phones and personal devices; the policy can cause inconveniences with assignments. Therefore, the division-wide policy should give teachers the authority to control usage and give permission without excessive contracts. 

However, some say the new rule was needed.

“It was good, because kids are less distracted and are more focused on the class and the classwork,” said English 12 instructor Shelby Ringer.

At the end of the day, the purpose of education in the classroom is to prepare students for their future lives, which includes self-control. Students should be advocates for themselves as well as understand the consequences of excessive cell phone usage in the classroom during instructional times.