Jenison High School cracking down on cell phone usage, clever or controlling?

October 6, 2022

Jenison High School students have new, stricter policies on their phones. These changes are affecting students’ daily lives.

This is an important topic of discussion throughout Jenison High School. Some teachers and students believe the measures taken are unnecessary or too harsh. A learning environment without the distraction of phones excites others.

 Policy Change

At Jenison, there has always been a rule that students should not be on their phones during class. Many of the teachers at Jenison had not enforced this rule. Now Jenison has made strict policies to stop students from being on their phones. This new policy only allows cell phones before or after school, during lunch, or when allowed by a teacher. If students don’t obey the policy there will be repercussions through the school. To further limit the use of cell phones the school made it so the students could not connect to the school’s WIFI.

Jenison High school Freshman Kedzie Hall said, “I believe the severity of the phone policy is not beneficial to kids. Specifically, taking away the school wifi. A lot of times I am not able to load things like school assignments or even texts from my parents without wifi access.”

Some believe that these policies are helping the student and some disagree. Jessica Stickler is a freshman at Jenison High School. When asked how the phone policy has helped her she said, “It’s helped me not get sidetracked when I’m doing an assignment. I can finish it through and through”. 

Cell phone use statistics found that 95% of students bring their phones to school every day. Also, 92% say they use their phones to send messages during class time. We can see why Jenison school executives would want to cut down on the usage of cell phones in the classroom.

The new policy affects those who have been with Jenison for a long time. It has also affected those just joining Jenison this year. Abbie Gruber is starting her first year as Jenison High school’s Spanish teacher. She said, “As far as taking away Wi-FI, I kind of think it’s smart because I truly don’t have that many kids that are on their phones.” She later shared her concerns about increased cell phone usage by teens. “And for me, what I’m scared of is, are we creating robots? Do we have people that can interact and make human connections?”

Cell Phones Effect on Teens

Do students lose social capabilities when they depend on their cell phones? There could be some truth to this. Teens communicate on social media a lot and most depend on their phones. How are they supposed to develop those social skills when they are always using their phone? School is a learning environment. Limiting the distractions of cell phones is a good way of increasing focus. Some students do believe that the measures taken are too harsh on them and their fellow students.

“Overall I do understand that phones can be distractions in the classroom, but some of the regulations are more severe than they need to be.” ”

— Kedzie Hall

We know that most of this generation is dependent on their cell phones. You can understand why the school would want to cut out the distraction of phones. But is taking away the WIFI from kids the best step for Jenison to take? Is there a way to have the staff and students agree on a policy? 

Jenison’s changes to its policies have a reason for excitement and concern. Throughout 2022-2023 we will see the changes in students’ lives without phones. The question is will those changes be positive or negative?

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