New Phone Policy: What Do Students Think?

By Andrew Lum (2024), Mila Maricic, Maggie Zhao, and Reagan Puhak (2027)

On April 22nd, Bedford High School will implement a “bell to bell, no cell” policy. This means that each classroom will have a cell phone holder into which students should deposit their phones for the entire class period. The new rules are only a “pilot” policy that will last for seven weeks; afterwards, the school will analyze effectiveness, hear feedback, and determine any next steps. 

Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors must put their phones in the phone holder at the start of class and collect them at the end of class. Seniors in senior-only classes must keep their phones in their backpack for the duration of class. Everyone will still have access to their phones during FLEX Block, Advisory, break period, and passing time.

In a letter to students and parents, the Cell Phone Committee—a group of nine BHS teachers that was formed one year ago—said that many teachers have been observing more students on their phones in class, which has negatively impacted learning and engagement. They believe that this policy is moderate compared to other schools and will bring positive change to classrooms. 

But what do students think about the new phone policy? Well, over the past couple weeks, The Lookout staff asked students to share their thoughts. Below are some of these anonymous responses…

Class of 2024 (Grade 12)

“Eh. Some people might need it, others might not. It’s just a pilot”

“It’s pointless. If you’re doing bad in class because you’re on your phone, that’s your fault”

“I don’t like it, and I think that it’s not right to punish kids for something that has previously been allowed. And phones aren’t that dangerous” 

“It feels like a power grab against those who are actually responsible and control themselves. And for those who can’t, it will only hurt them later”

“I honestly just think that it’s going to make it harder for people when college comes. Because in college, nobody will remind you about your phone. If you fail a class because you’re not paying attention, that’s on you” 

“Why do I care? This is America!”

“I don’t think that it will help for college. Like think about middle school—nobody could have their phone, and now in high school, everyone’s taking advantage of not having rules”

Class of 2025 (Grade 11)

“I think that, despite everyone complaining, this is actually a good thing because there is a phone problem, especially in lower classes” 

“I think that the phone policy is kinda harsh for the end of the year—it should have been done next year. But I think that it will make everyone less distracted, which is good. I wish students who do not have their phones out ever in class were not forced to give up their phones in front of the classroom”

“I want my phone on me. There have been many times when I needed to contact my parents for medical reasons. It’s good for some people, but there should be exceptions. Stop trying to make BHS like JGMS all over again” 

Class of 2026 (Grade 10)

“I think that the policy makes sense, but I don’t see any need for it. I don’t think that phones are a big problem here”

“It’s stupid. Nothing else”

“I think that the phone policy is fine. I mean, it’s annoying because I can’t have my phone, but it’s not a big deal. It will help some kids, but not everyone—if you don’t want to pay attention, not having your phone isn’t going to make you pay attention. But the school has to do what it needs to do, and I don’t really care because it won’t affect me much.” 

Class of 2027 (Grade 9)

“The only reason why I don’t like it is because I’ll definitely forget my phone in the holder. It doesn’t really affect us because, in High Honors classes, there’s not really a problem” 

“I think that it’s valid that teachers think that we don’t need our phones, but I think that we should be allowed to keep them in our backpacks” 

“I think that students should be able to try the backpack privilege, and lose the privilege if it doesn’t work out. If we shift every student to the new policy, it won’t make everyone happy. Certain students that are responsible should also be selected to keep it in their backpack instead of a phone holder”

“I feel more comfortable with my phone. I know it’s not that big of a deal but personally I just feel better with my phone. It’s my own possession”

“Not going to lie, I don’t really care because I’m too lazy to use my phone in school. However I’m mad because they take away our phones but disable lots of things on the iPad”

“It’s annoying that whenever we want to listen to music or something we can’t because we don’t have our phones”

“I haven’t seen many problems with having phones in my classes, so I think it’s unnecessary but it won’t affect me very much”

“I think it’d have our phones in the bathroom. I think it’s reasonable that we can’t use it during class though”

“I think there should just be a stricter policy for phones in class”

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