New policy at Tahquitz puts student cell-phone use on hold.


(New policy at Tahquitz)

Initially negative, students now actually prefer new policy

Tahquitz High School has implemented a new rule to prevent students from using their cell phones in class. The idea behind this rule is that if all the students in the school can’t access their cell phones. Without access to their cell phones students won’t develop what the kids nowadays are calling “FOMO” or Fear Of Missing Out. Students won’t be as tempted to check their social media or text each other. Most importantly their number one tool to cheat in class is now taken out of their hands. 

Hemet Unified School District (HUSD) claims that their original case study, initiated last year, showed great improvement in students’ behavior/test scores. This led to school-widen implementation of the rule.

Although Tahquitz and the HUSD claim that they are already seeing improvements, there are Pros & Cons to this rule. At least the HUSD is doing everything they can to help students learn with ease. Classrooms can be tricky environments. Classrooms are becoming harder to manage, with kids attention spans shrinking and having various learning styles. Teachers struggle to remain in control. Taking cellphones out of the classroom will help the teacher obtain the students’ undivided attention, but we will have to wait and see how this turns out for Tahquitz to find out if other schools will follow their lead.

Right now, two other schools have followed Tahquitz’s lead in limiting cell phone usage. Acacia Middle School has adopted a zero tolerance rule, basically outlawing cell phone usage at school. Teachers at the school claim that it’s been an adjustment, but that students are starting to comply. They don’t hand out detentions for cell phone usage: teachers simply issue the students a simple reminder to put their cell phones away. Acacia has noticed a significant difference in the classroom since enforcing this rule. Students pay more attention in class and are willing to learn, and that’s a surprise in and of itself.

Alessandro Continuation HS (ACHS) has also adopted the no cell phone policy, but it’s only during class periods. Teachers at ACHS have even set up charging stations for students for use during class times. 

We spoke to Tahquitz High School junior Iran Estrada and asked her views on the policy at Tahquitz.  “Honestly, I don’t mind the new rules. In my opinion, they have made a change, because i’ve noticed students getting more work done in class than they did before, when they had contact with their phones.”

Some wondered if the fact that the new policy might lead to cell-phone theft, but Miss Estrada finds that’s not the case.”No phones have been stolen that I’m aware of, but some teachers do stand where the phones are placed at the end of class when the bell rings to make sure everyone only grabs one phone. It’s not mandatory that teachers do this, but some do it for the students,” she says, adding, “There was a lot of negative responses to these new rules at first. Most students didn’t like the policies and they complained about them a lot. The majority of the students have adjusted now. You don’t even notice that you don’t have your phone anymore!” she smiles.  “I would highly recommend other schools adopt this policy. A lot of students will complain in the beginning, but it will only benefit the school as a whole.

Most students seem to be taking the new policy in stride.. Tahquitz just needs to implement a safer protocol that prevents cell-phone theft, such as a a check-in system: you get a card with a number on it when you turn in your phone and you have to turn in that card at the end of class to get your phone back.  Other school districts have implemented such precautions and have done so with great success.

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