Students Unplug from Phones in School

Alissa Baumann, Staff Reporter

Whether it be texting, calling, Instagramming, googling, or Snapchatting, phones are capable of so many things. But phones are also addicting, most anyone can see that. Most of us are on our phones and don’t even realize it.

The only problem is school. Despite there being rules, kids are constantly on their phones in class, or in the hallways. It’s not uncommon. Why is this a problem? The reason that is a problem is that what do you do when you actually have to learn something in class. Phones can be a distraction, and now teachers are trying to figure out what to do on their own.

Mr. Hurtig, an English teacher here at Deerfield High School, is one of a few teachers to use a phone caddie in his classroom. When questioned about why he uses it,  Mr. Hurtig said, “This is the first year I have ever used a phone caddie and I have to say it has been quite a relief to have it. Students today are so incredibly skilled at texting in class, that the moment the teacher turns his head to the board several kids can be texting. Sometimes the phone doesn’t even leave their pockets”

Hurtig is not the only one thinking of ways to keep phones out of students hands while in the classroom. Using collection baskets, and sign-in sheets as well, teachers want to make sure that their students are actually paying attention and not just on their phones during class.

“What I am most surprised about the caddie this year is that my sense is that students actually do not mind being separated from their phones. It’s almost like a reprieve from having to check all the time to see if you have missed something on your phone. What I am trying to accomplish by doing this is creating a greater sense of presence in my classroom. Creating a space where students are fully present and their attention is not divided between what is being learned and a distraction from outside of the classroom helps achieve a greater sense of focus and community,” Hurtig stated.

DHS does have rules that try and fix this problem. When questioning students about phone policies, their minds tend to think about the Dean’s Policy right away. Dean Marsh explained the Dean’s Policy by saying, “There is a 30-minute detention for the first phone violation that is made. For every violation after that, it goes up by an hour. That means you could have a one or two-hour detention. They are there for a reason.”

When asked whether he thinks that the Dean’s policy is effective, Dean Marsh responded with, “Yes as long as everyone follows it. This means that everyone must be responsible for knowing what the exceptions are by teachers, and what the expectation is in each class.”

Undoubtedly some kids don’t agree. When she was asked why she loves her phone, Kyra Barany, a freshman here at DHS, said “I love it so I can communicate with people, and so I can shop online. I am on my phone a lot, and it drives my parents nuts. When my parents take my phone, I find it within 5 minutes, because they are bad at hiding things. I do use my phone in school, and in class but I know the expectations for all of my teachers. I recommend to kids that use phones in class to be careful, and not get caught!”

Despite the Deans’ Policy and some rules that the teachers have, many kids are still using their phones when they should not be in school. When kids have this structure whether or not they want it or need it, they are going to rebel sometimes. It is important for kids to take a break from their phones, so maybe taking teachers advice into consideration is important. Maybe you want to follow Mr. Hurtig’s lead, and get a phone caddie for home!