The 2021-2022 school year at West High school has brought many things, including an enforced phone policy which has turned out to be very controversial. New technology is taking over everyday life, especially in the classroom. Although some technology such as new smartboards, laptops, and school issued phones for teachers have proven to be very effective in the classroom, there is one thing that students and teachers cannot agree on, and that is the possession of student cell phones in the classroom.
The phone policy states that students must place their phones in numbered
pockets when entering the classroom and cannot get them back until the end of the class period. Assistant Principal Landefeld explains that, “The idea for the cell phone policy began at summer school and there was such a great return on that investment that it only made sense to try during the school year.”
Landefeld stated that they were very lax on phone use in the 2020-2021 school year due to COVID, but believes that it may have affected the students badly which led him into going into more detail about how enforcing the policy impacted the summer school causing it to be brought into the 2021-2022 West High school year. According to Landefeld, ‘teachers teaching at the summer school were very hesitant on the phone pockets, but as the weeks passed they began to realize the amount that it was helping.’ Landefeld exclaimed that ‘190 high school credits were recovered after implementing the policy,’ which is the highest amount that West High has had in years, and in the four weeks that this policy was tested there were only two disciplinary issues that dealt with phones. Landefeld also proudly stated that “once phones were taken away from the classroom setting there was more work done instantaneously”. Landefeld is grateful for the students who are complying with the enforcement and says that no rights are being taken away from students. He believes because of the evidence that he observed during summer school that this will help many students.
Just like teachers, students have opinions about this too. Liv Koenig, a senior student at West High, stated her opinion about the policy, “I think it's good in the sense of keeping people from being distracted in class, but it [the phone] would be nice to have for when you don’t have anything to do in class.” This seems to be a recurring opinion throughout the student body, but has not caused too many issues and students have been very compliant.
The overall hope for enforcing the phone policy is that it creates more good than bad, and helps students succeed in this new school year.