Should students be able to keep their cell phones all day?

Pro & Con

Sydney Miller and Belle Wilson

PRO: Students should be allowed to have cell phones in the academic wing

Students are trusted enough to use their phones everywhere in the school but the Academic Wing.

The technology section in the JC student handbook states, “In the Academic Wing, students can only use cell phones and/or earbuds for educational purposes with a teacher’s permission.”
Students should be able to use their phones in the hallways in between classes to check their schedules. They should be able to go on their phones at their lockers. Students using their phones in the hallways in between classes would not disrupt class.
In college there are no “phone trees” that students are told to put their phones in. The instructors trust the students to do their work, and they trust them to properly utilize their technology. At some colleges, the instructors will just tell a student to leave if they are causing any kind of disturbance.
As a college preparatory school, there should be a focus on how students can appropriately use their phones so that they are prepared for the expectations of college. It is important that teachers emphasize how students should appropriately utilize technology instead of outright not allowing any usage.
Also “phone trees” are very impractical because when a student has to use their computer to take notes in class, they are often prompted to use two-factor authentication. In order to use their Office 365, they must disrupt class time to ask the teacher for permission to grab their phones.
If students were able to keep their phones on them, then there would not be problem of students needing to ask their teacher if they can go in the middle of class and grab their phone.
Another obstacle students have to deal with regarding “phone trees” is the dreaded feeling of forgetting their phone in one of their classes. This leads to a student having to go and search all of the classrooms they have been in that day to try and locate the item.
It is not unreasonable for teachers to make students put their phones in the “phone trees” during exams or tests, but it should not be a daily occurrence. Students should be trusted enough to use their technology responsibly.
Students should be able to keep their phones while in the Academic Wing because if they are done their work, they should be freely allowed to utilize their time and technology in a way they choose since, in college, students are able to use their phones whenever they choose.
As of now, there are disciplinary actions being taken for students caught using their technology in the Academic Wing. Not allowing students on their phones in the Academic Wing leads to unnecessary detentions.
As high schoolers, we should be trusted enough to be able to identify disruptive behavior. Students should be taught the appropriateness of cell phone usage instead of outright not allowing any usage in certain areas of the school.
A majority of students at JC have never given the school a reason to mistrust them with technology. The entire student body should not be punished due to the actions of a few students who misuse technology. The people who should have their technology usage revoked are those who misuse it.
There still should be some restriction on cell phone usage in the Academic Wing, but students should have more freedom in using their phones in the place where they spend the majority of their day.
The world around us is more centered on technology than ever before, so it is important that students are taught the importance of appropriately using their cell phones and technology. – Sydney Miller


CON: Phones are a distraction when it comes to learning in the classroom

Phones have become the center of a teenager’s life. There’s never a time when the cellular device isn’t in our hands. It’s almost like having a phone is a security blanket.

In school, however, the object that never leaves the student’s side is forced to be put in a holder. Although this seems like a punishment, it’s a necessary rule to protect students from themselves.
Having a phone in front of a student is a temptation, especially when bored in class. It’s second nature when a student’s attention span is wearing down, to pick up the phone and have some sort of entertainment.
If a student isn’t paying attention to class and opts to go on their phone, it’s not only disrespectful, but it hurts the student’s education. In order to fully learn and understand the content, students need to do their best to be involved in the class.
Students come to John Carroll to receive a college preparatory education. This means taking personal responsibility and which means following rules.
John Carroll has certain rules that students are expected to follow. Not being on technology in class when it hasn’t been ordered is a rule. If there weren’t rules like this in place, there would be no societal order to John Carroll.
If students shouldn’t be on their phones during class, then putting cell phones in the designated areas shouldn’t be an issue for students.
Furthermore, keeping students’ phones in the holder poses no safety risk to students. Cell phone holders are always right by teachers’ doors. In the case of an evacuation, students can easily grab their phones before exiting.
If a student were to ever need their phone for an emergency, to do an assignment, or any other necessary reason, they can easily ask the teacher to grab their phone. There have been many times where students in class have needed to access their email on their phone or take an important call, and teachers have always been flexible with letting students grab their phones.
Additionally, if someone ever needed to reach a student, they could easily call the school and the student would be reached from the landline phones in each classroom.
There’s no real reason to not have a cell phone in the holder in class unless it’s because students think they should be on their phones in class.
However, nothing can ever justify students downright ignoring teachers’ lessons to text friends or scroll through Instagram.
The only way to ensure students are away from the temptation that a phone provides is to have students put their phones in the holder.
Phones are tools that can be used to help people in many ways, one of them being getting a quick answer to a question through Siri or Google. It’s second nature to use your phone to do this since it’s done so often. So then, why would a student not try to use this same tactic when taking a test or quiz?
It may be a pain for students, and it feels weird to not have a phone always by our side, but it’s the only way to create an attentive learning environment for students. – Belle Wilson