By: Mike O.
This 2013-2014 school year at Duxbury High School, a new cell phone policy was put into place.
The new policy gives teachers more freedom to punish students for cellphone use in class, with a punishment that they see fit. The lack of guidelines that would give this policy stability has stirred some controversy. According to the handbook, “Violators risk confiscation of cell phone or PED and/or further disciplinary action including a discipline referral.” This policy lets teachers decide the punishment in their own classrooms.
Some teachers give two detentions for one infraction. Junior Joey D. said, “Two detentions is absurd.” Joey was not the only student upset with some of the harsh punishments given out by teachers. Other students, a majority in the junior class, agreed that the punishments were unjust. They believe that there are many discrepancies in the rule. Some teachers are more likely to give out warnings and allow phones during the last few minutes of class. In contrast, other teachers are more likely to give out detentions on the spot.
However, the rule appears to have caused a decrease in phone use during class. The majority of the decrease is seen in underclassmen. Students believe the harsh consequences are discouraging a lot of phone use during class. Students’ fear of detention outweighs the urge to use their cell phones in class.
Freshman English Teacher Ms. Sargent said, “Hopefully the ability to use cell phones in the hallway will cut down on the desire to use them in class.”
Many students do enjoy being able to use their phones during passing time and lunch. Students like having some time during the day to check up on their social networks and send a few texts. This compromise allows students phone privileges that don’t interfere with the learning environment at DHS.
CORRECTION: Our previous version of this article and the printed version of it stated, “Teachers are able to give up to two detentions for cell phone use in class.” Though teachers can do this, the policy does not require them to do so.