What changed the cell phone policy at MCHS?

Monday, February 13, 2017

By Sean Kennedy

Marshall County High School Junior

Nowadays, having a cell phone policy in schools seems pointless. Less than a decade ago, it was much different. So what has changed? Why is it not enforced like it should be?

Since personal communication devices have become so popular in the past five years, it would seem that few people care about how privileged we are to be able to use our phones, MP3 players, watches, etc., as much as is commonly observed.

According to the Marshall County Board of Education, students are allowed to possess a cell phone or other electronic device as long as it is put away and not used during class time or programs. The exception is that teachers may grant permission for students to use their phones during class to assist with his/her instruction(s).

This is usually not the case in most classes, because, coming from experience, students have their phones out on their desk while the teacher is working. Even in academic classes, students will look at their phone whenever they get a quick second to check it.

According to Jonathan Blevins, a student at MCHS, “Even in a class like English, people would look at their phone as often as they could get away with.” We, being the year 2000-plus generation, have become so attached to our phones and the technology in today’s world that we hardly know anything else.

Back when smartphones were first available, the policy on cell phone usage was different. Not everyone followed the rules, but the school was more serious about them being a distraction.

Former Marshall County school board member, Barbara Kennedy, remembers when board policy was to confiscate any cell phone or personal electronic device being used inside the classroom or anywhere at school. “Students would have to go to the office after school to retrieve their phone, and if it happened again, the parents would have to come pick it up.”

High school students were attached to their mobile devices at the time, but not everyone had a phone and the school board was more focused on the possible distractions they could cause. Nowadays, half the teachers don’t care if you have your mobile device on the desk.