New Phone Policy From The Teachers And Students Point Of View


Sarah Poma and Shel Morpus

Lake Shore High School instituted a new, stricter phone policy for the 2022-23 school year. However, not all staff and students feel the same about this change.

The phone policy last year was more laid back. Teachers didn’t mind if someone had their phone out on their desk or even just looking at their phone once in a while. Some teachers didn’t even mind if you were on your phone the whole time or not. This year, every teacher has a phone holder in their classroom whether they choose to use it or not. 

Caylem Mitrowski, senior, says,  “Students should always be allowed to have their phones on them for emergencies, no matter if you’re in the bathroom or in a classroom because anything is possible and people can get hurt and there’s no way to contact someone without your phone.” 

Dan Mumbrue, social studies teacher, says, “There are times that I enforce it closely, but I am also relaxed about it during times. Testing, enforced. Working on classwork, I am more relaxed.  I do not use the holder.”

Whereas, Lauren Barr, English teacher, says, “My phone policy does include utilizing the phone holder. I don’t believe that students are malicious with their phones. I totally understand that it is an important thing to most, if not all, of my students. The problem is when it becomes a consistent distraction. My job is to teach my students and if they are making the choice to be on their phones, then they are missing important information. The hope is that this teaches my students how to self-regulate better, so they know when it is appropriate to use their phone and when it’s not. In my classroom, the goal is to not have to use the phone holder, and when I ask for phones to be out of sight, out of mind, they stay away until work time.”

With the new change on the phones, there have been many concerns when it comes to possibly not having your phone if something traumatic happens during the school year.

Mumbrue has very strong opinions on this topic. He said, “I am actually concerned about students not having access to their phones. My daughter goes to Oxford High School, so I am thankful she had access to her phone that day.” 

Alexa Price, senior, said, “I can see the teachers point of view and the students. I understand that teachers and administrators don’t want students to use their phones during an in-school emergency because it could make noises during a lockdown, but then again, from the students side they could let their parents know what is going on and let them know if you’re okay or not. Any smart parent wouldn’t go up to the school in such emergency situations.” 

Barr has mixed emotions. She says, “The concern about phones during lockdowns has come up several times. During my ‘lockdown talk’ with students, I often reference the A.L.I.C.E. training I received. In that training, the police officers made it clear that the main issue isn’t that phones can make noise, but that they distract you from the task at hand. The officers said, ‘If you are on your phone, you are not escaping, hiding, or planning your next move.’ Also, if students are contacting parents in an emergency, the parents’ first instinct will be to drive to the school. This is dangerous for them and could prevent emergency services from entering the building quickly. With all of this in mind, the phones are not locked away and can be easily grabbed if necessary.”

Lake Shore’s new cell phone policy has sparked some debate with the staff and students. This new policy may be difficult to get used to for most.