The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

The Official Student-Run Newspaper of California High School

The Californian

Are Cal’s new phone policies too restrictive? – YES

New+phone+policies+ban+students+from+using+phones+in+class+or+taking+them+to+bathrooms.
Brooke Hirsch
New phone policies ban students from using phones in class or taking them to bathrooms.

Cal High is no stranger to an influx of new policies each year.
This year, admin has asked teachers to require students to leave their phones in the classroom when they use a hall pass. Some teachers are also using phone cubbies so students aren’t distracted by their phones during class.
The new policy involving the hall pass was implemented because of an incident that happened last year.
“We had a situation where students were using their phones inappropriately in the restroom and not respecting each other’s privacy,” Principal Demetrius Ball said.
This measure was enacted to minimize improper phone use, but it is too strict and shouldn’t have to exist.
For example, if students are facing an emergency or some other issue when using the bathroom, they are unable to contact anyone for help because their phones are in the classroom.
It is understandable that the school may be concerned that students will spend long periods of time out of class with their phone, possibly missing important parts of a lesson and instructional time.
To solve this, teachers can establish a time limit for being out of class with a pass. They can set a timer for, say, 10 minutes, and require students to return to class before the timer runs out.
If students have not returned when the timer runs out, they will not be able to take their phone to the bathroom in the future and will have to revert to the original school policies.
This amendment to the policy shouldn’t take teachers too much time because, at most, they just have to set a timer and make sure that the student returns to the classroom.
Both the bathroom policy and the one keeping phones in cubbies also prevent students from receiving important phone calls from their parents. Although parents are supposed to call the school if there is an emergency, many still try to reach out to students during the school day.
One counter argument may be that to many students, a phone is a drug that they just can’t seem to stay away from. By installing phone cubbies, students remain focused and efficient while working in class.
While this holds reason, it only considers a students’ short-term success.
Phone cubbies and other such policies are only present in high school and are not used in college. If students are constantly having their phones taken away in high school, they are more likely to use them during class in college.
They won’t learn responsibility and accountability when it comes to their device, and this sets them up for possible failure later in life.
Instead, schools should allow students to use their phones during class, but only under strict supervision. For example, a teacher may permit students to go on their phones after classwork is finished or if it is a study period.
This way, phones are treated as an incentive rather than a craving that teachers have to ceaselessly keep under control. Likewise, students learn how to manage their time on their phone, instead of relying on others to do it.
So, these changes keep students safe on campus while providing them the opportunity to develop the skills and responsibility necessary for their futures.

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About the Contributors
Suhas Chalasani, Staff Writer
Suhas Chalasani is a sophomore at Cal High and it is his first year as a staff writer. He joined the newspaper class in hope of learning and developing his writing skills. During his free time he enjoys playing video games, going to the gym, and listening to music.
Brooke Hirsch, Staff Writer
Senior Brooke Hirsch joined the newspaper team as a photographer and possibly an illustrator. She’s been interested in drawing since childhood and loves a good story. If you want to talk about movies until you feel sick, talk to her.

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