Opinion: The use of phones in class will always be impossible to regulate


Teachers should not have to continuously interrupt their lectures to get you to put your phone away. Be respectful and considerate. Graphic by: Lourdes Almalab

Lourdes Almalab

The never-ending debate between teachers and students

The use of phones in class is a constant subject area that teachers are having to cover more and more. It’s not uncommon for a teacher to interrupt a class in order to tell a student to put their phone away.

I think that phone usage in class is annoying, and I get the teacher’s standpoint, but in reality, technology being such a huge part of our lives and continuing to grow makes it hard for students to disconnect themselves from it.

However, students do need to learn that there are boundaries when it comes to using phones in class because sometimes it’s simply disrespectful. 

Logan Scarlett ‘24 said, “I feel like there’s a time and a place for [the phone] to be away like when you’re taking a test but other than that, I think it’s fine.” 

Teachers, especially mine, have continued to show frustration with phones being out in class because they want their students to make use of all their class time and worry about their phones during their free time. These teacher complaints make tons of sense, but it is hard to follow these guidelines when bored out of your mind in class. 

Gigi Scaglia ‘26 said, “Sometimes I text my friends or when I have nothing to do I might go on social media.” It is a challenge for many students to stay engaged in class because of all of the busy work and downtime, especially right now, closing out the second semester. 

Heather Miyata often has to tell her AVID students to put their phones away due to them not listening. This clever rhyme is hung in her room. Photo by: Lourdes Almalab

Something that needs to be considered when thinking about whether phones in class should be eliminated or not is what students are using them for and if they are beneficial to the learning experience. I think phones are one of a student’s biggest assets. Nothing else allows for so much access to the internet, and honestly, sometimes, using my phone just helps me learn complicated things in such a simple way.

Scarlett said, “Phones have a positive impact because sometimes teachers don’t do enough and you have to look it up to be able to understand.” 

The stereotype of students who are on their phones is that the students are the ones who don’t care and this needs to be eliminated because it is unfair. Hardworking students can use their phones and still be successful, it just becomes an issue when students are glued to it. 

I use tools on my phone like Photomath, which allows you to scan your math problem and solves it for you and shows the steps. Apps like these are so helpful because they show the steps clearly, and you can move at your own pace. 

Scaglia said, “I think it depends on the person because some people use it the whole time in class and use it for bad things but at least me and my friends don’t use it for bad things so I don’t see it as a negative thing.”

I can definitely see both sides of the argument, but I think that teachers should try to be a little more understanding considering the place students are in with technology. It is hard to have a strong yes or no on phones in the classroom because of how much phones have evolved to being implemented into everyday use.