Are phones the real distraction?


Gavin Cross and Malik Hibbler

In almost all of my classes phones are a repetitive everyday problem for teachers.

Students frequently get distracted in class while sending and receiving texts like these. Once they go in, they wont come back. Photo by: Gavin Cross

Having to take them away and send them up to the office is really just a waste of time. If a student is able to multitask, which is a function limited to some, they should be allowed to pull out their phones and check a text or catch up on some social media.

As long as you are getting the class work done, I don’t see a problem with it. One of my teachers brought up the fact that having our phones out can distract others in the class. The choice to distract others is only up to you.

A smartphone is a relatively small object that you can easily keep to yourself. Junior Tim Schooler said, “I believe phone usage is okay in class if the user understands the subject completely. On the other hand, phone use can be very disrespectful and a distraction from ones learning in the classroom.”

Junior Ashlynn Velarde opinion differs from Schooler. She said, “I think that phones should only be used when the teacher allows them or just for music. I think it’s really disrespectful to use your phone during class as your teacher is giving a lesson. But I also think that kids that use their phones in class 24/7 are the ones that are choosing to fail their classes.”

Let’s get to the real issue: the green, yellow and red phone signs that teachers recently were given by administration. The problem with these is that most teachers either forget about them or always leave them on red, meaning that phones are unacceptable at that time. Many students cease to follow these signs, including myself, because of the need for socializing in a time that does not require any.

Although the students are mostly on their phones for social media or messaging, I have had times where a teacher has come up to me with the intention to take my phone or tell me to put it away when it is a necessity for the current work.

If a phone does become a problem during a class then the teacher should confiscate it from the student. If the phone is not a distraction and is “low-key” then I do not see a problem. Photo by: Gavin Cross

The idea of diligently learning in school is an uncomfortable thing when you are forced into a class with people you may not know and you have to learn new subjects that you haven’t heard of or aren’t entirely fond of. For some, going on one’s phone for a quick second is an easy way to relieve some stress and lift weight off their shoulders.

If a student is constantly on their phone and does not pay attention to what’s going on in class, then that is a different story. In that case the teacher should meet with the student personally and attempt to fix the issue.

Another teacher of mine brought up the idea of collecting all phones at the beginning of class, then returning them at the end. But if that was the case, then most students would just be worrying about getting their phones back and what is going on in the world of technology. It’s just the way society is today.