NHS bans cell phones during classes

Senior Napoleon Manley checks his cell phone while AP Government teacher Gordon Galloway works with another second period student. Manley says he knows Galloway will call an administrator to seize any cell phone he sees a student using without permission during class. (Round Table photo by Brandon Callender)


Northern’s new cell phone policy states that, if a teacher sees a student’s phone in class, they will call the office to have an administrator come to the class to take it.

The consequences for the policy are: “1st Offense: The cell phone will be confiscated until the end of the current school day (Parent Contact). 2nd Offense: The cell phone will be confiscated until the end of the next school day (Parent Contact). 3rd Offense: The cell phone will be confiscated until picked up by a parent/guardian along with a mandatory Parent/Guardian Conference.”

Northern’s mission with this policy is to “re-establish the classroom as a place where students focus solely on academic pursuits, to create a classroom environment dedicated to mutual respect and courtesy, and to decrease school-wide drama associated with cell phone use during classroom time.”

Students have so far responded to this new, stricter policy in a positive way.

“[Cell phones] are a huge distraction,” junior Da’Sha Tolliver said. “Northern scores seemed to have gone down because of the overuse of phones in classes.”

The punishment of having a cell phone out is getting it taken by the admininstion. This is a huge consequence which seems to be working.

“Such intense consequences scares everyone,” sophomore Victoria Swain said. “The cell phone policy is working because of the consequences. Also, teachers are taking this very seriously, so the consequences are enforced.”

In order for this policy to work, teachers are responsible for enforcing it. Without the teacher’s enforcement of the policy, nothing will change.

“[Matthew] Hunt held an assembly on the first day of the second semester,” sophomore Taylor Gallis said. “If he didn’t have the assembly, I think teachers and students would not have taken the policy as serious.”

Hunt is very confident in the new cell phone policy. He has been assuring  everyone that it will bring major improvements to Northern. Most students understand that he has their best interests at heart.

“Without [Principal] Hunt’s dedication to Northern, we would not be as successful as we are,” sophomore Kayleigh Taylor said. “[ Principal Hunt] tries his best to find ways to improve Northern. He wants students to get as much as they need from the classroom to become successful.”

Teachers who are enforcing the cell phone policy are getting positive class results.

“Cell phones were making it so students could not focus and learn,” math teacher Timothy MacArthur said. “Teaching on a topic now with the new policy means not having to answer questions about things that were just taught. I used to have to keep reteaching things over and over because students would be distracted on their phones.”

Research from  the University of Texas and Louisiana State University shows that test scores increase between 6-14% when cell phones are not allowed in the classroom.

Round Table writer Jenna Garrison (Photo courtesy of the Round Table of Northern High School)

Round Table writer Jenna Garrison (Photo courtesy of the Round Table of Northern High School)

“My grades have already started looking better,” Gallis said. “My phone was always my biggest distraction in class. I could never really focus because I would want to check my phone. Now, I go home with my phone almost fully charged instead of how it used to be dead by the end of the day before this policy.”

This story was written by Jenna Garrison, and appeared in the March edition of The Round Table, the school newspaper of Northern High School, under the direction of journalism advisor William Schrader.



3 thoughts on “NHS bans cell phones during classes

    • I’ve done the same thing in my college classes too. So this is good training for university academic life.

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