Before the end of the first semester of the current school year, HP announced that a new cell phone policy would be implemented. During instructional time, it is completely prohibited to have personal electronic devices (PEDs) in use during class. They are to be put away out of sight.
If the device is out, it is taken away and put in a ziplock bag that must be marked after the teacher and student inspect the device for damage to avoid conflict when the student picks it up in the main office at the end of the day. Electronic devices, mainly phones, are a recurring problem with students during instruction time.
“After the phone is confiscated and brought to the office, the phone is put away, and after school, the students can pick it up in the attendance office,” said Ms. Adriana, Main Office.
There is a double-sided sign per classroom with instructions on whether cell phones should be out or not. This sign remains with the PEDs not permitted unless otherwise instructed and changed by the teacher during class. Phone use is permitted during passing periods, lunch, and before and after school.
“There is an opportunity when teachers allow students to use their cell phones, but if it’s not for school purposes and I have seen an improvement where students concentrate more in class. Overall, I think it is beneficial,” said Ms. Adriana, Main Office.
Although P.E. is outdoors, prior to this year’s new cell phone policy, the Physical Education department already had a policy enforced on campus during instruction time. Cell phones have to be stored in lockers as students saw P.E. as a free period.
“There has been a decreasing rate of students not bringing their cell phones which have resulted in better performance and face-to-face conversation between students,” said Ms. Espinoza, physical education teacher.
All teachers were required to enforce this policy and it was said to improve student interaction in the classroom.
How do the students themselves feel about it?
“I agree with the new policy. I think it helps us stay focused but at the same time, it is kind of risky because you never know if it’s an emergency and we might need our phones. I do feel some students still don’t oblige by the policy,” said Melanie Rivera, Junior.
The policy seems to be effective, but is it really being enforced?
“I think the new policy is effective for some kids that use their phone a lot but for kids that don’t use it then it is just the same, however, I have seen some changes in the classroom atmosphere since now everyone follows the rule,” Melanie Noyola, Sophomore.
Teachers and students have both seen positive changes with the new policy. Students socialize more as well as focus during instruction time. A positive outcome can even be seen from outside of the classroom.
“The new policy is making a new way for kids to stay focused on their classwork and making sure that you guys see how it is to not have your phones sometimes because when you guys go to work on the outside of everything you guys will be able to have the practice of self-control. Overall, a lot of teachers love it and the kids are very understanding about it too,” said Vince Gallegos, Campus Aid.
The new PED policy has received many positive reviews from students and teachers. The efficiency of the policy, however, still depends on the teacher and the effort placed into enforcing this policy. Overall, this policy has increased interaction between students and teachers.
By: Editorials Editor, Carolina Lopez