Opinion: Has the phone policy gone too far?


Out of habit students like to take a quick look at their phones as they walk to class, to the bathroom, etc. Veronica Osorio ‘19 checks a message on her phone while in the hallway during class. With the new policy, Osorio would have gotten an automatic referral for simply checking a quick message. “The day the teachers pay for my phone bill, is the day they can take away my phone. Give us back our phones, I miss her!!” Osorio stated.

Before the end of first semester, the Galena High School staff decided it would be a great idea to add more punishment if a student is caught with their cell phone. If a student is in the hallway during a class and is caught using their phone, they would get an immediate after school detention. This brings on the discussion of whether or not this policy has gone too far.

The GHS handbook says that it is up to teachers whether or not students are allowed to have their phones in class. Teachers who do not want their students distracted will collect phones in a bin or pockets.

But in classes where teachers do not collect phones, students can be seen texting and surfing as they walk to the bathroom during class time.

Mrs. Murphy has said that this results in lost instructional time because students are taking longer out of class than they need to, because they have the distraction of their cell phone.

Starting second semester, if teachers are in the hallway when students are out of class, and students are seen on their phones, the teacher is supposed to immediately refer the student to the office.

While new, this rule has the potential to be unfair. If a teacher catches a student they are not too fond of in the hallway, they will immediately refer them. But if the same teacher catches a student they are fond of, they might give them a warning.

Students do not get out of class just to use their cell phone. If the staff is worried about students over-using their cell phones, they should look into letting kids have their phones available.

One student stated, “In the classes that let me use my phone, I tend to have a better grade. It’s always the relationship between the teacher and the students. If the teacher is not strict about the phones, then they tend to get more respect. And once the teacher has respect, it’s just an unspoken rule that the student will do their work. And after their work is done, the student can use his/her phone.”

On the flip side, some might argue that cell phones are a distraction. They make the student get off task and not listen to the teacher.

Somewhere during this discussion, a teacher brought up the fact if you are speeding and get pulled over, you have to face the consequences. But to compare these two together is nonsense. One is illegal and another is just using your phone.

Some students do take advantage of classes in which you can use your cell phone. That is why they have started taking the phones away in most classes.

After all, Galena students will have to adapt not using their phones in the hallway, because it doesn’t look like this rule will go away on its own. As the years move on, it seems as if there will be more rules in place. But at the same time, technology is still going to move forward and students will take advantage of that. We will all have to start compromising to create a more respectful environment.