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The Current

The Current

Editorial: Deactivation of Bruin phones is a gray issue

Editorial Cartoon by Desi Kreiter

Put that phone away! Haven’t you heard the new policy?

The start of the new year brings with it some new guidelines surrounding cell phone use in the classroom at Bear River. According to teachers, cell phones have been a problem for the past few years, and they finally decided to put an end to the issue.

Bear River’s Principal Dr. Amy Besler explained the reasoning behind the new policy.

“The new policy has resulted from increasing concerns on the part of staff about the way they have seen technology take over within the past couple of years,” Dr. Besler said. “We have always had a cell phone policy, but most teachers have been fairly relaxed in the past about their enforcement of it.”

Dr. Besler stated that teachers that preferred a cell phone-free classroom had difficulty applying their regulations due to the inconstancy of the school policy.

“Teachers who have tried to enforce the cell phone policy in the past struggled because it wasn’t consistently enforced in all classes, which makes it really hard when you feel like you’re being the ‘bad guy,’” Dr. Besler continued.

Dr. Besler explained who decided it was time for a stricter policy regarding our cell phone use.

“Teachers definitely drove this decision, as they have been increasingly frustrated with the way technology has taken over,” Dr. Besler said. “Research is very clear that too much engagement with technology is psychologically damaging, especially to young people. We are absolutely doing this because it is the best thing for our students — we are never about rules for the sake of rules… instead, we are always trying to serve their best interests and create a better learning environment for them.”

Jacob Rivett, a senior, disagrees with Dr. Besler’s opinion, and thinks the new policy is an inconvenience to his ability to learn.

“I think it is necessary in some classes (the policy), but in leadership, I don’t think that it should be enforced, because half the time if we’re making posters, we need to look up pictures to draw — we need our phones in that class,” said Rivett.

Layla Ray, a junior, thinks that the new policy is going to help students focus.

“I like the new cell phone policy, it actually helps with keeping the kids to work on all the stuff they need to work on in class,” said Ray. “It’s affected me in a positive way because it makes me actually learn instead of wanting to go onto my phone.”

Cameron Pratt, a sophomore, thought that the new policy keeps students on task.

“I think it actually helps other people, it keeps them more concentrated on schoolwork and stuff,”  said Pratt. “It’s helped me a lot, I used to be on it all the time, but not having one has helped me.”

Compared to Magnolia’s cell phone policy, which is very strict, Bear River’s policy is nothing. Shane Preis, a freshman, likes the change.

“I like being able to have my cell phone out on campus, it’s a lot better than middle school — but not having it in class, I don’t like how they changed that,” said Preis.

Here at The Current we believe that there is a level of situational appropriateness. Cell phone use should correlate with not only the teachers policy, but the class and curriculum itself.

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Editorial: Deactivation of Bruin phones is a gray issue