New phone policy sparks debate

Ryan Tracey, Staff Reporter

Every year, administration reviews the Regional’s policies in the handbook. This year, one of the biggest and most divisive changes has been in respect to the school’s phone policy.

The 2022-2023 Student Handbook reads “Once the bell rings to begin class, all personal electronic devices … must be silenced and put away in a secured location… If a student fails to comply with this expectation, that student will be required to surrender the device to the teacher for the remainder of the class period.”

Principal William Beando said that a change in the phone policy needed to happen.

“The feedback from the teachers last year was that the use of phones had become very disruptive. So far this year there has been a big improvement in that department,” said Beando.     

Math teacher Jessica Daoust said that it had been hard to try to change the routines of students without a concrete policy.

“Students got used to having their phones on them while doing school from home. That led to phones being used heavily during class last year,” said Daoust.

According to faculty members the new policy has been easy to implement.

“The transition into the new policy has been smooth. The students know what they have to do,” said Daoust.

Beando agreed.

“So far there have been very few problems,” said Beando. “I appreciate the students’ response to the change.”

But several students said that the school can do even better.

“Last year the policy was too loose, kids were using phones throughout every class all day. This year it seems to be too strict though,” said junior Colin Sweet. “Sometimes students should have the ability to do a quick check of their phones for what could be important notifications.”

Sweet then said that he believes that the change won’t have much of an effect on students.

“The grades of students will probably stay about the same,” said Sweet. “Students will now be distracted by what might be happening on their phones instead of paying attention to what is happening in the classroom.”

Sophomore Jackson Plump said that he liked the previous policy better.

“I thought that last year there was a strict enough policy. Listening to music and stuff like that can help some kids focus, so taking that away could be harmful,” said Plump.

Junior Michael Leahy said that the new policy has more negatives than positives.

“Students who would have been on their phones are going to find a way to go on them anyways,” said Leahy. “Now even more of their focus goes into using their phone which makes them even more distracted.”

Senior Hayden Pierce added that the new policy has been good, but the school needs to work on a few things to make the change feasible.

“Chromebooks stink. The school should supply faster school issued devices if they want to restrict phone use,” said Pierce.

Underclassmen, though, have a different perspective.

“I love how flexible the phone policy has been. In middle school, we never got to use our phones at all,” said freshman Jack Woodsmall.

Beando also said that this change will not be a quick fix.

“This is meant to be a long term solution to help students,” said Beando.