SJHS re-evaluates cellphone policy

Max Hunter, Editor-in-Chief

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The year is 2007. Many current SJHS students relax in elementary school, with noworry of grades and what to pack for lunch. But, what Steve Jobs did in 2007 revolutionized our society. Jobs, the then CEO of Apple, released the first easy-to-use smartphone with a touchscreen–the iPhone.

Now in its tenth installment, the iPhone X has many improvements over the original: larger screen, longer battery life, and better camera amongst other things. Along with the iPhone’s journey, different companies like Samsung, Motorola, and even Google have made smartphones cheaper and more accessible to everybody. Looking at our current society, these techological advancements are amazing, even historical. But, at that press-release in 2007, Steve Jobs did not know he would be creating one of the greatest addicitons of all time.


Now yes, I have an iPhone. The technology is wonderful and now a smartphone is almost necessary to function in society. Cell phones are very imporant to people, including students at SJHS. According to a recent Wind-Up survey, 98% of the students at SJHS have a smartphone. While it might seem wonderful that almost every student relishes their prime technological device, the reality is they blast music throught their headphones and shove their way to the front of the lunchline.


Teachers at SJHS have taken note on this issue and have asked for a committee to be established to change the current cell phone policy in the student handbook. There have been no changes to the student handbook yet, as any changes have to be aligned with school board policy. The committee consists of five teachers from SJHS, two parents, and two administrators.


“We have a lot of responsible students in the building who use their cell phones perfectly but we also have students that do not use them that responsibly,” Mr. Jim Berry, administrator on the committee, said. “We want to make sure that we are maximizing instruction in the classroom,” Mr. Berry said.

Students who have to asked over and over again to put their cell phones away take time away from the teacher’s lesson, and also take time away from the other students who are trying to learn the material. Mr. Berry went on to say the committee, piloted by Mrs. Jennifer Morales and Mrs. Tracy Becker,  has talked about a “red,” “yellow,” or “green” light policy for all classrooms. To put it simply, a red light means no phones–not visible. A green light means phones can be out on the desk. This policy is still in its final stages, but the committee decided to implement it for the 2018-19 school year.


Scenes of cell phone usage even granted the sponsors of the Senior All School Read to focus on teen cell phone addiction. Mrs Tracy Becker, an English teacher and member of the committee at SJHS, has seen a progression of smart phone usage over the decade she has taught at the building.


“It has become an issue in class to the point where every hour I have to remind students, every hour, every day I say something about cell phones,” Mrs. Becker said.


Walking through the halls has become an anti-social battleground. Who can blast their music higher? Who can draw the least amount of attention while still getting swallowed up by the gentle tunes from “My Chemical Romance.” To be transparent, I have done this. Who hasn’t? Listening to music is a nice escape from reality, and a break from the daily stress that seems to seep from the walls of SJHS. But, students need to realize they have an addiction. What happened to gossiping the “old-fashioned” way in the halls? Talking to peers helps students to gain physical and emotional support that Instagram or Snapchat simply cannot match.


An iPhone is not an extension of your body. It is simply a technological masterpiece that has flourished in the last decade. Teens need to go back to talking, laughing, and having conversations. Save the phone for the last five minutes after a test or to relax at home after school.

Max Hunter
While the policy is not in place for the 2017-18 school year, Mrs. Morales has used a drafted system of the red, yellow, green signs in her classroom.

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SJHS re-evaluates cellphone policy