Electronics Policy Under Discussion

The school is discussing changing the current electronics policy to allow students to use their phones during brunch and lunch.

The school’s policy states that cell phones must be turned off from 7:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The policy characterizes this time as “class time.”

Use of cell phones that violates the policy can result in administrators taking away the phone for the rest of the day and after the offense, the student can even be suspended.

According to Superintendent Barry Groves, a strong supporter of the current policy, students should not be allowed to use their cell phones during what the policy considers class time, including brunch and lunch.

“I think that it is disruptive to the academic process,” Groves said. “I have seen many examples of students distracted from doing homework, focusing on school or running late to classes so that they can finish a personal call that has no relationship to being successful in school.”

Principal Wynne Satterwhite is also concerned about the policy because she does not think the use of cell phones during school hours enhances “educational purposes,” and credits this to “com[ing] from a different generation.”

ASB President senior Jenny Uphoff, on the other hand, believes that cell phones should be allowed on campus during brunch and lunch because they can be used to contact parents and do not interfere with a student’s education.

“I don’t think it will hurt the academics because it still would not be allowed during class,” Jenny said.

Unlike at this school, Mountain View High School Students “may use cell phones before zero period, after seventh period and during brunch and lunch,” according to its 2007-08 handbook.

Jenny said ASB has discussed changing the cell phone policy since the 2006-07 school year but has been unsuccessful. On March 30, ASB drafted a proposal of what it would like to see as the new policy. The proposal suggests changing the policy to read that devices should be turned off, not used and and of sight “while class is in session” instead of “during the school day.”

According to Jenny, ASB has approached the administration and the next step will be to meet with the Leadership Team. ASB hopes that the policy will be in effect for the next school year.