The Cellphone Conundrum
September 22, 2022
While FCHS introduces a new cell phone policy each school year, this year’s policy is the toughest one yet. Why the school administration felt the need for this strict policy, and whether it will be a positive step for the school
Technology has grown by leaps and bounds the past couple of generations, with younger generations brought up with the constant use of cellphones. Some argue that overuse of cell phones can make them students vulnerable to being addicted to them and can negatively affect their ability to learn.
As a result, school administrators implemented a policy in August which is aimed at terminating the use of phones during class time. This policy change has made many students upset, especially upperclassmen, some of whom don’t understand why they can’t use phones in class when they were allowed in past years. While some complain about the strictness of the policy, arguing that they are not even allowed to check the time on their phones, others recognize that the policy does have some benefits.
“It definitely sucks, but I feel like it makes people focus in class more,” said senior Andrew Sheridan. Senior Brooke Napier also has mixed feelings about the policy. “I understand trying to get the students to pay attention in class, but the level of strictness is ridiculous,” she said. Students like these agree with the overall rationale behind the policy, but wish there could be a few alterations to make it less strict, such as allowing students more access to their phone before and after class.
Underclassmen also have mixed reviews on the policy. Although Fluvanna Middle School has always had a strict no-cellphone policy, many students believed that in high school there would be more freedomm, and have been disappointed to learn that is not the case. “I think it is unfair because I am not allowed to contact my parents about having a ride back home, or text my brother and ask him about transportation,” said sophomore Piper LaRochelle.
On the other hand, some teachers love this new policy. “I definitely see it as a benefit for all classes. Hopefully, removing cell phones from the classroom will help students focus on learning rather than on their social media or other distractions,” said English teacher Victoria Zavadsky. Drama teacher Craig Edgerton agrees. “With the new policy in place, I have had more kids focus on class and not get distracted by text messages,” he said.
Many students say they dislike the new policy not only because they want free access to their phones, but also because of the consequences of abusing the policy. Teachers are now required to take any cell phones they see and turn them into the main office so the student or a parent can pick them up later in the day. They are then required to write a referral to Administration. As with all new school policies, this one varies somewhat in how it is implemented from class to class, with some teachers not allowing phones to even be seen until the student walks out the door, while others allow them the last 5-10 minutes of class if students have worked hard in class.
Time will tell how the implementation of the policy will look by the end of the year. In the meantime, senior Kimmie Bond says, “The bright side of this is that I get to focus more on my school work.”