Proposed state cell phone ban unpopular among students


Yondr sells pouches where students can place their phone during class time and be assured it is safe and undisruptive.

Harrick Wu ’19, Features Editor

Cell phones. Almost every student, teacher, and staff member in schools has them in this technological age. It has many important and useful functions like texting, calling, and checking the time. However, students in California might have the privilege of having and using cell phones during school might be taken away from them as California proposes a bill which would require school districts to limit or prohibit the use of cell phones of students.

Even if this ban passes, it will not directly affect the students at Riordan as it is a private high school, but some teachers would like the administration to follow suit.

Although there are bene ts to having cell phones, teachers think that the negatives outweigh the positives, especially at Riordan, where students can utilize iPads instead. Some think that cell phones distract students from reaching their full potential at school. Some even believe that students are wasting their parents’ money, who are paying for their sons to have a quality education at school, not to use their cell phones.

David Elu, a Social Science Instructor, said, “It should be banned, because they are a distraction to students. Students become fixated on whatever is on their phone, and they tend to tune out to whatever is being discussed in class and that brings down the class as a whole, because so many people could be participating, giving their ideas, giving their input that are no longer in tune with the class.”

He added, “It hurts not only them, but hurts the other people in the class that could be getting insight from a different point of view.”

Furthermore, teachers would support the ban on mobile devices, because of their small size, which allows students to easily use them during tests or during a lesson to do other work for different classes.

Mary Ann Datoc, Math Department Chair, said, “They use them to cheat, text others, and to do other homework. I have caught several students cheating. They are easier to hide versus the iPad or laptop, which they can easily put away.”

Students disagree with the ban. They think cell phones are the best way to allow parents or guardians to contact them in the case of emergencies and for them to ask their parents to bring items they forgot at home.

Darien Thomas ’19, said, “They could be used for a family emergency. For example, your parents get in a car accident, you need to know. Then, something less serious would be if you forget something for class. Just text your parents to bring it to school, and they can get it to you.”

Elu proposes the school invest in something similar to the Yondr pouches, where students can place and lock their phone in. It can not be reopened without a special device. These pouches allow students to have a sense of security by knowing their phones are safe, but not able to use them.

Elu said, “If people can’t police themselves, then someone has to police them. Teenagers aren’t mature enough to police themselves and that’s part of what we do: to teach them to try to police themselves, and this may be the kind of tool that teaches them how to do that. If not this tool, then some other type of tool so that if you are not in the position emotionally or mentally to police yourselves, it comes down to us.”