SPASH Cell Phone Policy

Liam O’Keefe

SPASH student distracted by a cell phone during class

SPASH’s new policy could bring some good changes but also some bad. The policy will encourage students to pay more attention in class and have less distractions. While enforcing the new policy would help teachers and students, some think that the punishments are way too harsh and unnecessary. 

The SPASH cell phone policy could be making some big changes. In a draft of the December 8th SPASH phone & electronic device policy, it highlighted what time is student’s time and what time is the teacher’s time. It also highlights the punishments for people who do not follow the policy.  

In the draft of the December 8th SPASH phone & electronic device policy it stated that, 

    • 1st violation- Student checks phone into the cell phone organizer or teacher’s desk for the remainder of the hour.
    • 2nd violation – Student checks phone into phone holder every day for the rest of the quarter (get to try again once the quarter ends). Teacher communicates with parent(s).
    • 3rd violation -Teacher can confiscate the phone and drop it off in the North Office or send student to the North Office. Cell phone returned to the student at the end of the day. Administrator communicates with parent(s).
    • 4th violation – Teacher can confiscate the phone and drop it off in the North Office or send student to the North Office. Cell phone will be held onto until parents pick it up. Administrator communicates with parent(s).
    • 5th violation – Student sent to the North Office. Check-in/check-out with phone/kept at home for the quarter? Administrator communicates with parent(s).

This new policy is much more strict than our current policy. Hannah Purkapile, a SPASH student said that “This policy will not help me prepare for college.” This means that when she is at college next year there won’t be a cellphone policy and she needs to learn self control to succeed.  When asking SPASH student Kenzie Mayer how she felt about the new policy she argued that, “It’s the same as it’s always been.” In other words the problem won’t be solved by the new policy, it will be solved by the teacher enforcing the policy.  

The good the policy will do.

The policy would help students stay less distracted and stay more focused in class. SPASH student Kenzie Mayer stated that, “the policy would help in math.” She exclaimed that math is hard on a lot of students and is extra hard when they don’t pay attention during class. Another SPASH student Jakob Glodowski stated that, “it will help the ones that are on their phones all the time and not paying attention.” This means that it will target students with little self control focus in class. Mrs. White said, “I do think we would see an improvement in student grades if students did not have ready access to their cell phones all hour.” This goes along with the out of sight out of mind, saying that if you don’t have your cell phone right in front of you it’s easier to pay attention in class. 

Will the new policy be enforced?

The draft of the new SPASH cell phone policy listed harsh punishments for those in violation of the policy. The real question is will teachers implement these harsh punishments highlighted in the policy? Mrs. White argued that, “This is the problem. I think there is a loophole for teachers who don’t mind cell phones. Because of this, I worry that most teachers will continue with their current practice.” This means that the new policy may not be implemented by all teachers creating a loophole for students to still be on their phone during class. Jakob followed along by saying that, “Some teachers could care less.” This goes along with what Mrs. White was saying that some teachers don’t mind cell phones and will continue to allow students to be on their phones during class. Kenzie Mayer said that if this new policy gets put into effect, “It will be enforced for a little bit.” In other words this means that she thinks that it will be enforced but over time teachers will stop enforcing it as much until it goes back to how it was before the policy. 

SPASH is now faced with a difficult choice. They can keep the same policy and make students use self control or they can have the new policy where it is on the teachers to enforce the policy. The policy has positive and negative effects for SPASH as a whole.