Cell Phones: A matter of personal property?


It is no question that the popularity of cell phones, especially among teenagers, has spread rapidly over the past decade. Distracted students have gotten into a habit of keeping phones on them, checking messages, or texting. Many people have questioned if the policy and punishments are reasonable.

Out of a survey of 10 people, all said they carry their phones during school. Matt Listerman along with a few others said that they have their phones on them because they do not trust keeping them in the lockers. Should this nullify this aspect of the phone policy? This is up to the school’s dean of discipline, Mr. Ruffing.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea for students to keep their phones in their pockets during the school day,” he said. “There are too many temptations that will distract students from paying attention in class and maximizing their learning potential while carry a cell phone.”

A student, who wishes his name to remain anonymous, said, “As long as your phone isn’t making any noise or distracting others, you should be allowed to use it.” He believes that if you’re paying to go here, you should be able to text in class if you please.

Matt Maloney said, “You should focus on your work because your parents are paying to go here.” He says that’s it’s the schools responsibility to make sure parents are paying for a good education

One very controversial topic about the policy is the punishment given for violating it. Currently, the student will receive two demerits and a fine of 10 dollars. Out of five students, they all said that the punishment is ridiculous. They all agreed that the demerits are reasonable but the 10 dollar fine is unnecessary.

On the other hand, Mr. Ruffing stated, “Consequences are meant to teach a lesson with the hope that someone won’t repeat the action/behavior for which they’re being punished. Most students (at Elder) who violate the cell phone policy tend not to repeat the same action, so the consequences for violating this policy seem to work!” Even though the punishment may seem a little too severe to some, there is no denying that it is effective, according to Mr. Ruffing.

I believe, as well as many others, an aspect of the policy that needs to be changed is students should be able to carry their phones with them. It is very important that students have immediate contact with family in case there is an emergency at home or in school.

In addition, I don’t see a serious problem in texting at lunch or between classes. I don’t believe it takes away from the learning experience and it gives students the opportunity to make plans for after school or find a ride home.

By texting during class, however, I believe that it is taking away from the education we should be receiving. Also, not only does it take away from ones learning, it can take away from the learning of nearby students. Although though it may not seem like it, students can be easily distracted by other students who are using their phones.  It could be noisy buttons on the phone, bright lights, or possibly just curiosity. Parents are paying thousands of dollars for their kids to go here and students should do their best to stay engaged in class.