New Year, New Rules: Cell Phone Policy Evolves

The 2014-2015 school year has brought new rules regarding cell phone usage to accommodate an increasingly technology-based education at RHS.

New Year, New Rules: Cell Phone Policy Evolves

Is this finally the time that schools will actually encourage cell phone use instead of frowning upon it? Studies show that 61% of our American population owns a smartphone, but why should we care? With the rapidly increasing popularity of these smartphones, the school policies regarding these devices are subject to change.

The cell phone policy during earlier years was simple: “no phones during school hours.” Now, as the school environment is becoming more technologically advanced (schoology, google drive, etc), the rule has extended cell phone privileges to students during class time with the teacher’s permission. But is this the end? Or will the once strict rule continue to fade away until it is nonexistent?

The intention of the “only in class” rule for cell phones is mainly so that teachers are able to monitor the students activities, unlike if they were out on campus at lunch or break. Cell phones are very powerful devices these days, and most students are unaware of what they are really capable of.

It is clear that the idea of allowing more cell phone usage is to keep up with our rapidly excelling technology-based school district. This type of productive activity is always encouraged; however, students take this as a sign that cell phones are always allowed for any and all purposes, which tends to lead them into trouble.

Especially with social media being so popular, negatively exposing students has been a real issue. Whether the problem consists of suggestive images or calling names on twitter,  this harassment is a clear issue that has had a profound effect on RHS students.

Sophomore Jeffrey Farley shared that “there are always tweets from sports teams harassing another school or another team.”

The administration may easily get involved if posts concern the school or are posted during school hours. Administrators believe that if they keep students on a tight leash with phones, it will reduce this problem.

There are no sure reasons why these students think this is acceptable, but “it’s one of things where you just have to police yourself” student Zach Diele said.

However, social media can also beneficially enhance school activities and education through several social media accounts constantly posting updates and photos.

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction,” a statement made by Albert Einstein, has never been more prevalent. Will cell phone use hinder the face-to-face social interaction high school students need?

Freshman Azdin McCollam reflected about his past year at Granite Oaks Middle School; “you could have your phone out before and after school but during school it wasn’t even allowed to be on.”

Comparing RHS to Granite Oaks shows a huge difference in the school policies. He later explained that  “when we go on car rides my dad doesn’t let us go on our phones, so that we can actually talk to each other.” Maybe we should all take a tip from him in the future.

So will the rules officially change? No one is quite sure, but regardless of the outcome smartphones should be used wisely, for they can either enhance or hinder education depending on the reasons behind usage.