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The Chatterbox

The Student News Site of Walnut Hills High School

The Chatterbox

The Student News Site of Walnut Hills High School

The Chatterbox

Polls

What concerts are you planning to go to?

  • Taylor Swift (93%, 14 Votes)
  • Drake (7%, 1 Votes)
  • Morgan Wallen (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Young the Giant (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Ella Mai (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 15

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Distracting devices: Phone use in classrooms

Geovanna+Schandorf%2C+%E2%80%9826%2C+spends+time+on+her+phone+and+listens+to+music+during+a+break+in+class.%0A%0A+%E2%80%9CI+think+the+use+of+phones+and+other+technology+in+classrooms+is+going+to+increase+as+time+goes+on%2C%E2%80%9D+Claudia+Zilliox%2C+%E2%80%9829%2C+said.%0A
Maya Sampath
Geovanna Schandorf, ‘26, spends time on her phone and listens to music during a break in class. “I think the use of phones and other technology in classrooms is going to increase as time goes on,” Claudia Zilliox, ‘29, said.

There is no doubt that technology is a big factor in today’s society, especially with the younger generation. Phones, in particular, have become a means of communication, entertainment and education. Samantha Stephenson, a seventh and ninth-grade English teacher, noticed that the age of phone use is significantly decreasing.

“I got my first cell phone when I was in eighth grade, and it was a flip phone,” Stephenson said. “Then, I got my first smartphone when I was a freshman in college. I think that especially because kids in the city have to ride the bus and things like that, having a phone at a younger age makes sense.”

Stephenson believes that taking away phones during tests or when they distract students from class is needed occasionally.

“Sometimes I take individual phones if [students] won’t put them away, but usually they’re okay if I [tell them if they] put them away now and they can get them out later,” Stephenson said. “I try to bargain with them so that they don’t have them out when I’m trying to teach.”

Lucy Reddy, ‘29, agrees that phones can be used for negative purposes, like cheating.

“In all my classes we’re just generally discouraged from having [phones] out during class time, which, honestly, I feel is appropriate,” Reddy said. “Usually if someone has their phone out during class, it’s not for class-related reasons. If the teachers are trying to teach something, [having] phones out kind of distracts the students and makes it harder for them to learn.”

Some students, however, feel that phones should always be allowed and can be integrated into lessons. In a poll sent out to the WHHS student body, 52.5% of students felt that phones were fairly useful tools in classrooms. 

“I think [banning phones] is kind of odd—I’m a freshman and I have to put my phone up at the front of the class,” Claudia Zilliox, ‘27, said. “[It’s] especially [odd] if I have a good grade in the class. If you’re smart about [phone use], it can be useful.”

Phones may also be handy in the case of emergencies, as they hold important medical information and can be used to call 911.

“I think banning the use of cellphones in class is a little intense because I have had instances where I have gotten phone calls in class that were emergency situations, and I wouldn’t have been able to take them if I hadn’t had my phone with me,” Rachel McGovern, ‘24, said

When it comes to establishing rules around technology, Ohio law states that it’s up to individual school districts to decide whether they want to restrict the use of cell phones. This expands the conversation to not only whether phone restrictions should be implemented, but also who should be allowed to implement them. 

“I think it would be best to do whole school policies on things like [phone use] since it gets confusing for students because they don’t know the expectations for each individual teacher,” Stephenson said. “If they have a teacher like me since I am more relaxed with phones, that can affect [how they use their phones] in other classes, so it sends a mixed message. If the teachers don’t have consistent expectations, the students don’t know what their expectations are and that’s not really their fault.”

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About the Contributor
Maya Sampath, News and Features Writer
In her second year as a Chatterbox staff member, Maya Sampath is thrilled to work as a News and Features Writer. She aspires to continue developing her writing and researching skills as well as interact with WHHS diverse student body.  Sampath also plays for the girls’ soccer team, is co-president of Model United Nations, and is Vice President of the Class of 2025 Student Council.  Sampath hopes to major in political science and possibly become a lawyer.  In her free time, Sampath enjoys baking and listening to artists such as Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers.
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