Battlefield’s new phone restrictions

Why the school is taking extra precautions to limit phone use in class


Students getting their phone taken away. Photo courtesy of Google Images via Creative Commons.

As the new school year is starting to kick in to gear, Battlefield is making big changes regarding phone use in the school. In late August, Mr. Fererra, the school principal, writes in an email sent out to Bobcat students and parents, This year, we are simply asking students to have their phones away when they walk into the classroom.  If allowed, teachers will give permission to take them out. If a student violates this policy, the teacher will contact parents/guardians and an administrator.” Things like phone caddies are being put in to use in the majority of classrooms. Some teachers go even further and coerce their students to put their backpacks at the front of the room, earbuds and phone included.

One of the prime reasons for this new policy is the frequent issue of screen addiction. Mrs. Bacon, a geometry teacher at Battlefield, says, There has been so much discussion about people in general being addicted to their cell phones, it just showed that this was not just a school thing.  In the past, we have asked students to be respectful and put their phones away during class time. When we mentioned to parents that their student was often on their phone and not paying attention in class, the parents always said to take the phone from their student.” Majority of a student’s week is spent in school. If phones were allowed to be used freely in class, the majority of their day will probably be spent on their phone, only increasing the amount of screen addiction and decreasing the amount of attentiveness from students. Bacon continues, “I have already seen a difference, because while students are working with me on notes, all the students are focused. I think it has been a positive change in my classroom.” While teachers may already see a difference, it is a little harder for the students of Battlefield to see eye to eye with them.

On the student side of things, a great number of them are not fond of the new phone policy. Sophomore Connor McIntosh says, “Teachers are taking away personal property and punishing all the kids from the actions of only a select number of kids who misuse their phone.” According to this new policy, when a student is first caught misusing their phone, it is a call to their parents and a detention. McIntosh continues, “The first warning should at least be like, ‘hey put your phone away’ but that’s not the case this year.” This only makes the policy even more unpopular amongst students.

An alternative to cell phones are computers. At this point they may seem foreign to most students and without the luxury of using their phones, it is their only resort. Sophomore Katelin Bookard says, “Most kids work better if there able to have interactive learners like kahoot on their phone but if we have to do class work on computers then it’s not really as beneficial in my eyes.” Overall, computers are seen more as a burden than a resource. 

Battlefield’s newly enforced phone policy has its positives and negatives. From a teacher’s perspective, it makes their students more focused in class. From the eyes of the students, it only enhances the stress to their school day.