EDITORIAL: School should allow student cell phone usage


Aleah Layton

As of now, students are not permitted to have cell phones during the school day. This prevents communication during emergency situations.

Over the years, the Altoona Area School District has not allowed junior or high school students to carry cell phones while inside the school. Out of the other nearby districts, Altoona is one of the few schools that don’t allow it. Although the school board gives reasons why phones are prohibited, they all can be worked around with proper rules. 

With not a lot of freedom in place in the school already, phones are just one more thing that is taken away from students. It’s important to have a source of communication to assure one’s safety. Teens are living in an age when things can get pretty scary; having a family member or friend to call in case of an emergency will not only help the students but possibly save them.

Emergencies are just one of the many factors that apply. Brothers and sisters who attend the school together might need help locating one other for a various number of reasons during the day. Altoona is growing rapidly, and it can be very difficult to get anywhere. Contacting one another quickly without a phone is next to impossible in a school as big as Altoona’s. 

Many teachers and staff members don’t like the idea of phones being in classes because they believe it will cause a distraction. To combat with this, rules will be placed in order to keep electronics off when there is teaching or working being conducted. Obviously, there will be consequences that come out of disobeying these rules, but that’s the privilege of being able to use a phone in the first place.

The main rules would include: no electronics on when teaching unless prompted, do not distract other classmates with the device, phones will sit on the front desk when testing and the ringer must be off at all times. Consequences will vary depending on the students actions. If it is clearly causing a distraction, the teacher will be allowed to take it and give it back after class. If the student refuses, they can face a detention or an in-school suspension. 

At the end of the day, it only matters if students obey the rules of carrying their phones around. There is only one way to figure out if it’s an idea that can work and that is to let students have them. 

Poll conducted by Jersey Hollabaugh on April 28, 2021