Teachers struggle with phones in class


Students constantly have a phone in hand, whether inside or outside of class. This often causes them to be distracted while learning.

Rebekah Fertig, Reporter

As this school year concludes, teachers say that students need to start paying more attention in classes and that phones are a huge cause of the distraction problem. 

Jim Miller’s 10th grade government class is one example. Out of his 21 students, 9 of them failed which is almost half of the class. Miller said, “Absolutely, it’s (the phones) a huge distraction; it’s like giving kids a loaded gun. What do you expect them to do with it?” The student handbook clearly expresses the rules dealing with cell phones: “Cell phone use is permitted during the following times: before school, passing time (between classes), at lunch, and after dismissal.” Yet Miller said, “Whenever they (the school district)  started loosening the rule, it started getting out of control.” However, whenever Micheal Ginter, Math Teacher,  started working at Big Spring in 2012, he said if he saw a student with a phone that he had to give them in school suspension.” Other teachers in the building agree and remember that the school handbook did state that rule, and students couldn’t even have them out at lunch. 

Miller said if he had to make a rule it would be to go with phone lockers, since a lot of schools are doing it. It would work like so: Students would drop off their phones before 1st period, get them back during A flex, return them to their locker before 4th period, and get them back before they leave school. The only problem with that, said Christie Katora, Special Ed Department Head, is that this would give students a reason to leave class, or to be late to class. Katora said,  “that if she would have to make a school wide rule, that there would be a phone cubby and you would put your phone in that assigned spot and it can even charge your phone. This cubby could also tell who is absent or just not turning on your phone.” 

Yet Ginter said, “There are advantages to having phones available for research purposes and projects so the way that the policy is written now (phones at teacher discretion) is probably the best option.”

Still most teachers are saying that phones take away from student learning. With technology growing every day, this is a problem which will not go away any time soon.