Students and Teachers React to New Policies for Cell Phones, Hallways

by Abigail Hart, ’19

When the students of ELHS came back to school this fall, they were met with strict new school policies regarding phone usage and hall passes. 

When interviewed, student reactions to the policy changes were fairly similar. Students believe that the new policy is efficient but there are parts that need to be amended because they are, ironically, creating further distraction. Senior Avery Goulding said that the cell phone policy–not using phones during classes or in the halls–is a great idea, but the policy could be altered. “When I am required to keep my phone away, I just think about how I want to be on my phone, which is actually more distracting,” she said. “They should just let me take out my phone if I want to. The policy causes more work than it’s worth.”

Senior Olivia DuBois addressed the new bathroom policy–signing out of class on two pieces of paper and taking a signed pass–, and said, “When I want to go to the bathroom I feel like I’m interrupting class, so instead of learning, I am thinking about how I need to go to the bathroom.”

Although many students addressed parts of the policies they believed should be amended, they all agreed that for the most part the policies are a good idea. Senior Oliver Hall said, “I think the new policy is lowkey a good idea.” School rules became unorganized last year, he said.

“Teachers voiced their concerns about distractions and we heard a lot about cell phones and hall passes,” said Principal Scott Annear on why the policies were implemented.

Many teachers believe that the policy is close to perfect, but they, too, believe there is room for improvement. Math teacher Shannon Reed had ideas about amending policies, and said, “Phones shouldn’t be out during educational time, but I think that students should be able to have them when I’m done teaching at the end of classes.” Despite this small amendment, she also thinks the policy is a great idea, she said.

Many students and teachers say that they actually enjoy the new school policies and the stricter guidelines. Fewer distractions are helping students such as Oliver Hall, Avery Goulding, and others focus more in class and teachers are elated to have them paying attention to their lessons. “I think everybody is a little more attentive and focused this year,” said music teacher Sarah Brooks, “which is really nice.”

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