With New Power Comes Responsibility

student+walking+in+the+hallway+while+texting

Felix Celestino

Starting this school year West students are finally allowed to use phones during the school day after years of strict rules and repercussions.

After a large group discussion within the administration about having phones at West, the administration concluded that it was time to “norm up” to East’s phone policy. To have the same “expectations for teachers that are traveling between campuses, and to have the same expectations for students.” “to meet the needs of students on both campuses.” As West Dean of Students, Mr. Powers says.

As seen in many different emails and around the school, students are allowed to have their phones and headphones ONLY during passing periods and their lunch period. Mr. Powers made another point to say that “if you’re going to the washroom during class time, cell phones and headphones must be off and away.” As students enter their class, they see on the floor “cross the line, it’s learning time.” A moto the school as coined to reinforce the idea that phones are off and away during class time.

With new rules come new punishments, and since we are allowed to have phones during the school day. There have been new punishments put into place when students fail to put away their phones in class or students who miss-use phones during the school day. According to Mr. Powers when having phones out in class; “the first infraction 4 DETENTIONS, the second infraction 1 BIC, the third infraction 2 BICs, and the fourth infraction an ISS (in-school suspension).” After each infraction phones will be confiscated for the day. On the good side, there has been only a “handful of referrals” issued by the Deans Office since the beginning of the school year. 

There are some concerns with allowing phones that have been brought up by staff and students. One of which is that students would be permitted to pictures of other students without consent and possibly bully one another. Another is that students may become less social in the hall because they would be focused on their screens too much. 

With all that in mind, it is up to us to make sure that social interactions don’t suffer as a result of phones being allowed.  As Mr. Powers said, with new “power comes responsibility.”