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The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

The student news site of Stillwater Area High School

The Pony Express

Stillwater Pony Express

New Phone Policy passed by House for schools to have no phones in class

Students+Ava%2C+Alyson+and+Margaret+are+on+their+phones+in+class+during+free+time.+In+the+last+5+years%2C+a+massive+increase+in+phone+usage+has+been+seen+in+teenagers+in+todays+society.
Photo by Makayla Shugg
Students Ava, Alyson and Margaret are on their phones in class during free time. In the last 5 years, a massive increase in phone usage has been seen in teenagers in today’s society.

Cellphones in school was not a problem until it did become one, and now administration is trying to enforce phone policies in schools so students have fewer distractions. This phone policy ensures students are off their phones and paying attention in class.

Many people and school staff believe this is beneficial and needs to happen but, some say students should be allowed their phones in schools.

“We should have the ability to bring our smartphones to our schools,” Assistant Principal Matt Kraft said.

Reducing phone use in schools will both eliminate distractions and potentially improve mental health among students. Lawmakers are pushing to make a mandatory cell phone policy for Minnesota schools as part of the 2024 Education Policy Bill. This new policy aims to curb student cell phone use in high schools, the toxic culture around phones, distractions and stopping human interaction.

“I think this is an opportunity for us to help students learn and understand how to access their phone appropriately, and not let it be at an addictive level where you’re always on it,” Kraft said.

I think this is an opportunity for us to help students learn and understand how to access their phone appropriately, and not let it be at an addictive level where you’re always on it.”

— Matt Kraft

Many students believe that phones are not a distraction to them and that they should not get them taken away. This is true but, if they want their phones they have to find a balance of when to work and when to be on phones.

“The current policy is just really kind of what I would call an in between policy that yes, you can bring your phone, but we all have to work together to keep the phones away so that we can learn better,” Kraft said.

St. Anthony middle school Principal Amy Kujawski has a policy at their school called “Off-and Out of sight” students must turn off phones and put them out of sight in class. This is similar to what we have at our school, but our policy is in between and less strict.

“I know that other schools I’ve been hearing lately, have policies that have been much more successful, but it would take all teachers to adhere to it,” ASL teacher Becky Mazzara said.

Lawmakers are pushing to make a mandatory cell phone policy for Minnesota schools as part of the 2024 education policy bill. Maple Grove Middle School is cell phone’ free and with the phones gone teachers and staff have noticed, kids are more talkative, outgoing and happier overall. The Minnesota house is hoping to bring success through districts to adapt cell phone policies by March 15, 2025.

“I think it does help to have your phones off, like during class time and stuff, but I don’t think it should just be like no phones in school because there is lots of things that phones can help with and like for emergencies and being able to contact your family,” junior Elin Snyder said.

There are many different opinions on phone policies in schools, but if students can find a balance on when to use their phone and when to put them away it would be much easier. Enforcing a phone policy is not only on the teachers to be successful, it is also on the students to make the effort.

“If phones weren’t here we wouldn’t have to deal with behavioral issues that come up because of that,” Mazzara said.

Although phones are tempting it is best to put them away during class so have less distraction and can focus on the class.

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Makayla Shugg
Makayla Shugg, Copy Editor
My name is Makayla Shugg I am a junior in high school and I am a copy editor for the pony express. I am currently in dance on the Chevals team through the high school. I love watching the sunsets with my friends and I love the fall. I enjoy going for walks and late night drives listening to music. I am most looking forward to learning how to interview people about relevant things.   

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