New year, new rules

What you need to know about the new FHS cell phone policy

Bethany Bergschneider, Editor

No one can deny that cell phones and other mobile devices are a huge part of our lives today. According to PC Mag, in 2017, the average American spent 3.3 hours on a cellphone. That’s a little more than ⅛ of a day. There is a time and place for using cell phones, and that’s one of the main reasons for the new FHS cell phone policy.

Prior to this semester, devices were required to be turned off and in a student’s locker, backpack, or purse for the entire school day. Under the new policy, cell phones and similar electronic devices, including smartwatches, are required to be turned off and in students’ lockers during the school day, with the exception of lunch.

If there are three strikes or violations, the entire student body will lose cell phone and laptop privileges during lunch for seven school days. The strike count resets at the beginning of a new quarter.

The idea for the new policy actually started with a school board member. “I was approached by a board member asking if we could find a policy that gives kids more access to their phones to treat them more like adults,” says Mr. Waggener. “We found policies from other schools to compare it to and came together with one we liked.”

According to Mr. Waggener, this policy’s looser rules are part of an effort to give students more privileges along with their responsibilities. “I hope that by students being able to use their phones before school and at lunch, they don’t feel the need to do it during classes… Hopefully, this will be a compromise. It’s all about making good choices.”

The new policy is receiving mostly positive feedback from students. “I like the new one better, but I don’t like that we can’t have our Apple watches,” says Mollie Allen, a sophomore.

Zoe Graves also prefers the new rules, but she does have some concerns about the three-strike policy. “I understand the reasoning for it, but I also think that it’s kind of crazy that there are three strikes for the whole school.” She also has another idea about the policy to share. “I would add phones (being allowed) in homeroom, because the majority of the time, I don’t have homework, so I’m just sitting there playing games on my laptop. Why not just be on my phone instead?”

Olivia Fromme likes the new policy as well. If she could change anything about it, she would allow students to be on their phones in the classroom when teachers give permission.


Works Cited

Marvin, Rob. “Tech Addiction By the Numbers: How Much Time We Spend Online.” PC Mag, Accessed 16 Jan. 2019.