Phone Policy Upsets Students at AHS

Elizabeth Anderson, Lead Editor

Watching TikTok, scrolling through social media, playing games, and being able to talk to friends is the norm for many students. Imagining a life without tech and social media can be challenging for many students. According to ABC News, teenagers spend an average of seven hours and 22 minutes on their phones, not including time for schoolwork. 

According to the Washington Post, by 2020, 77% of schools have banned phones. This year, Atlantic High School joined the percentage. According to the student handbook under the Electronics and Cell Phone section, it states that “ “Electronic devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, electronic games, laser pointers, personal music players, tablets, personal Bluetooth devices, smartwatches are not to be used by students during class time…Electronic devices cause disruptions and distractions to the learning environment.” This newly implemented policy upset student across the high school. 

One student that feels strongly about the phone policy is junior Christien Foegen. He thinks that the phone policy has been an inconvenient change from last year. “I think it’s really helpful overall to have [phones] because I can listen to music and type better. The big change is not having my phone out. I used to have it out maybe once or twice a period, depending on who the teacher was and how they reacted.” Foegen has not been caught on his phone this year and strays away from using it. If he could change the phone rule, he would change it to be more lenient. “Study hall is the only period that I care to have it. Study hall, you should be able to use it because it’s the time the school is giving you. If you don’t do your work, that’s on you. I think educators are doing quite a good job of enforcing the phone policy, but specific people don’t get caught with it. It feels like it’s targeted,” said Foegen. “Everyone equally needs to be punished or not at all”

Senior Lance Keller also has an opinion on the phone policy. “It’s not that I don’t necessarily like it, I think it can work, I think it’s just the implementation of it and the way they went through with it,” said Keller. He thinks the phone policy can work to an extent and he likes the idea of putting it away during class time. “The teachers are really strict with it. They will see a phone and instantly take it, even if you’re putting it away.”

Like others, freshman Dasia Baxter also doesn’t like the new policy. “I think the phone rule tempts people to go on their phone more,” said Baxter. “Certain rules only pertain to certain people and that’s what I hate.” Baxter reminisced about when she broke her arm and none of her family picked up the phone except her grandma. “I have severe separation anxiety from my family,” she said. She would change the phone policy by having students keep in mind respect. “If people could be respectful and know when to and not to use their phone, it would be fine.” She agrees with Foegen that students should be able to use their phones in study hall. “It’s made me feel irritated because I would have texts from my mom saying how she would pick me up after school. I would be able to text her if I was being bullied or feeling sick. Now I can’t do that because of the policy,” Baxter said.

Students at Atlantic High School took a survey about their thoughts about the new phone policy. Around 63% of the students reported that they were upset with the new policy and about 52% of students are still upset. Almost half of the students (49%) thought the phone policy has negatively impacted them and others.