EYE 2 EYE: Phone policy on campus


Brent Gelick / Talon

Ban media devices on campus!

Why OPHS should limit phone use on campus

By: Megan McCoy

Take a walk down the street. How many people are hunched over looking at their cell phones? Texting at a red light? Calling a friend about Kim Kardashian’s latest relationship status? Endless possibilities are compiled into one 6-inch tall box of iron and aluminum. From having your question answered in 1/10th of a second with Google to texting a relative 5,000 miles away, a smartphone can do it all. 

With all the benefits of a phone, of course, there are just as many—if not more—consequences. The addiction to a smartphone has become so prevalent that a term has been defined for it.

According to addictioncenter.com, “Phone addiction is the obsessive use of a smartphone. The behavioral addiction is often dubbed as ‘nomophobia,’ or the fear of being without a mobile device.”

The addiction to one’s smartphone is a rising problem and a serious issue. This is why Oak Park High School should enforce phone restrictions on campus. Schools should be a place of social interaction, not distraction. It should be a place of learning and engaging. Smartphones inhibit this notion. 

Yes, phones can be a tool for learning at a certain level, but we must draw the line. Some teachers allow phones in their class because they help the students access information, and can be useful pieces of technology. However, phones shouldn’t be used in classrooms during lessons or work time because phones are frankly a huge distraction for the students and can even impact grades.

Author Sherri Gordon from Verywell Family states, “While there is little argument that smartphones and other devices can be distracting for students in classrooms, there is new research that shows using electronic devices in the classroom can even lower students’ grades. This grade could be the difference between passing and failing for some students.” 

Phone use on campus should be a more discussed topic because every student spent the last year completely online. With the privilege of being back-to-school and seeing everyone in physical form, media devices should be restricted on campus. The use of phones should be limited not only to prompt kids to pay more attention in classes, but also to encourage kids to interact with other students. We’ve fought so hard to be on campus and to begin to interact again just to walk past a lunch table filled with the quiet sound of texting and scrolling. 

It’s argued that phones help connect kids on levels that were not achievable decades ago. While some aspects of that statement are true, there must be a point where the line is drawn. Will our entire social life be inside this chargeable metal box? At what point will we lift our heads up, and if we don’t do so soon, what will happen?

It’s time to recharge our own battery.


Lenience of cell phones on campus

Why OPHS should cut down on phone restrictions

By: Haley Bandemer

The cell phone policy differs in every classroom and every school as well. I believe the phone policy at Oak Park High School should be less restrictive and more moderate. 

The OPHS student handbook states that “students may use cell phones or other personal electronics during class time only if under the direct supervision and instruction of a teacher or administrator.” 

This policy does seem fair, but it is actually quite authoritarian. I understand that a school has rules that should be abided by, but the consequences  for just the use of a cell phone can be very harsh. A first offense is the confiscation of the cell phone for the remainder of the day.

The rules should be less strict, and students should be given the opportunity to earn trust in a classroom environment with cell phones. I credit cell phones to be a “powerful learning tool” rather than a disturbance. Students should learn responsibly, have self-control and prepare for the future with cell phones. It even seems quite hypocritical when some teachers tell students they may not use their cell phones, but use their own devices during class time. 

Cell phones in classrooms can have many positives and be an asset to students. One big one is communication. Students and parents can feel more at ease knowing that they can directly contact their child in case of an emergency. This can increase the sense of safety, contacting parents or vice versa, moderated through the school can take some time or even be delayed. 

Cellular devices are inevitable in classrooms, as a student will always find a way to sneak them or use cellphones one way or another. Having a more lenient policy will lead to students sneaking their phones less, not feeling the need to hide them and instead using them appropriately. 

According to Bernard McCoy from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “Boredom is one of the main reasons that students report using a digital device during class.” By keeping your students engaged, thinking, and doing activities during class, they are less likely to be tempted by digital distractions, states Harvard Education. If there are fewer restrictions for cell phones, while keeping students engaged, this idea can create a very healthy learning environment. 

Harvard University also says, “To be clear, the presence of electronic devices in the classroom is not, in and of itself, the problem. Rather, it’s the way we incorporate electronic devices into situations in which we are already inclined to pay attention to too many things.” 

We need to be more connected with our devices and less distracted.