Mansfield High School Online Newspaper

The Uproar

Mansfield High School Online Newspaper

The Uproar

Mansfield High School Online Newspaper

The Uproar

Dialing Back on Phones

New policy removes phones from classrooms
Audrey Fortner
Two students walking through the lunch room.

Recently, the Mansfield School District decided to start off the school year by issuing a new cell phone policy. This policy ensures that students cannot, under any circumstances, use their cell phones during class time; students are, however, still allowed their phones during lunch and passing periods. Both teachers and students have experienced some mixed feelings regarding this new and sudden change.


Over the years, many teachers have struggled to keep students from being distracted by their phones. Many speculate that these issues led to the decision to enforce the new policy. Science teacher LeAnn LaFollette has seen how these distractions had been a significant issue in the past. 


“There were a lot of students that were being distracted by the accessibility of their phones,” LaFollette said. “Not to say that every student was abusing the privilege, but I think there were plenty of students who were missing information in class because they were on their phones.”


Even at the beginning of the school year, many teachers have already seen how the new phone policy has impacted their classrooms. To many, it seems to have made a difference on some students’ behavior, as they have less access to their phones. English teacher Laura Gafford has recognized how the decline in cell phone usage, following the recent policy, has made teaching easier for her. 


“The new policy has made it easier to teach, rather than monitor phone usage and try to do both. I can already see a difference in students’ focus and in turning in their work,” Gafford said. “I think it [the policy] is something even teachers have to get used to, but even though it’s a difficult change, thus far I think it’s positive.” 


Although many agree that the new phone policy provides beneficial factors to the school environment, some have recognized its negative impacts. Some students feel that utilizing their cell phones could better assist them in their classwork. Freshman Eldaa Fotsing has recognized how the absence of cell phones during class has negatively impacted her. 


“I feel like we need to use our phones. You can use them for schoolwork, and most students know our limits when we use them,” Fotsing said. “One day, I was trying to study for a test, but it was hard because the class was so loud, and I would say it’s easier for me to focus when I can listen to music.” 


While some students have expressed some hesitance regarding their limited access to cell phones, many believe that this policy can be beneficial for the students. With the lack of distractions, many students have a higher probability of concentrating on the material being taught in their classrooms. Assistant Principal Pedro Cavazos has seen how the cell phone policy can be a positive change for students.  


“I think this policy is going to be great, not only for the school but for the students,” said Cavazos. “It benefits the students by helping them focus on what is important in the classroom, and not what’s happening outside of the classroom. I think students will see a boost in their grades and they’ll be able to reach their potential.” 


To many, it seems as though the new cell phone policy has already made an impact on the school. While some feel that this impact is negative, others feel that the policy has been beneficial. Many students and teachers, including Gafford, await to see how this policy may further affect their school’s environment.


“Since I’ve been here for so long, I have not witnessed a policy like this stay in place for long,” stated Gafford. “I think if it does continue, and people get used to it, some of its positive impacts in the classroom will continue and help overall.”


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Lacey Hughlett, Staff Writer

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