Ring, Ring Detentions Calling


Swoosh, another phone gets snatched from a teenager’s hands and taken into the possession of an administrator. Deep into the sixth-floor office lays a mountain of phones waiting to be picked up. Students walk in and out every day, taking back their phones, disappointed that it was taken away in the first place. Every day teachers come into class ready to educate young minds, but there’s always one thing stopping them; modern-day technology. From phones to laptops, students are prepared to find some way to find something that entertains them during lessons. Despite this, teachers should be the ones creating an organized classroom while also maintaining a comfortable environment in which students can put away their phones without being told to. 

A common idea is that you never know what someone is going through and have no right to assume anything. So my question is, does the teacher have the right to assume that every kid is playing Wordle when going on their phone? Many students are going through difficult situations involving home and friends, and their only way to deal with it is through messages and social media. While many teachers know this isn’t always the case, it should be their responsibility to check in and ensure that it isn’t a serious issue before snatching a student’s phone and handing it to their grade dean. 

As high schoolers, we take on many responsibilities that go beyond schoolwork. Ramaz prides itself on its students and the effort that goes into it all. So wouldn’t it be reasonable to say that its students can contain themselves during class to not go on their phones while it is at their desks or close to them? Just the other day, students had their phones beside them during class, and by the end of the lesson, the teacher could have opened an apple store with the collection of phones in her bag. The worst part was that many students didn’t realize that their phones were near them, and as a result, they had no access until the end of the day. 

Every classroom has the same rules but ‘in a different font,’ including the phone rule. Some teachers make students put their phones into the shoe racks, or euphemistically called ‘phone hotels’ on the classroom doors. Other teachers say it can be in a pocket or your bag, but they never want to see it out. Once in a while, you get that one teacher who says you can keep your phone out but ensure it doesn’t become a distraction. Many students have found that when teachers allow them to use their phones, students want to use them less. However, when the teacher prohibits phones and takes them away, the rule is broken more often. From 8:00 am to 4:45 pm, we sit inside the classroom and absorb endless amounts of information, and the two minutes we take to answer a text or Snapchat shouldn’t result in an all-day consequence. 

Teenagers are constantly annoyed that we are either treated as children or adults. It is unfair that we are told to act and speak as adults but aren’t trusted to have our phones near us during a lesson. It’s an unreasonable rule that creates a tense atmosphere among the students and teachers. If a teacher wouldn’t take a student’s backpack or notebook, why can they take phones away? Rules are established to prevent mistakes and not cause students stress and anxiety.

Ultimately, it is very easy to be distracted by a simple text or notification, but as students of Ramaz, we should be trusted not to be hypnotized by our phones. Trust, as well as communication, should be laid out between teachers and students to stop the issue of phones being taken away. Teachers should encourage students to want to learn rather than hold them back in their education for such minor and insignificant breaches of the rules.