“No Phones in Class”, A Bogus Rule

Haley Wright, Staff Writer

When entering middle school and high school, the “no phones in class” rule becomes more common. Middle school teachers were probably the strictest with this rule, taking phones away from students left and right, giving them detention, or sending them to the main office to speak with the principal. In high school, many teachers became more lenient, allowing students to keep their phones on their desks, so long as they don’t use them during class. Once coming to college, you’d expect the rule to be even more lenient, or even gone, right? Wrong.

The “no phones in class” rule is meant to prevent distractions, whether it’s the phone user, a neighbor, or the professor getting distracted. I agree that phone notifications should be silenced and I agree that using cellphones and other electronic devices can be distracting and sometimes rude, but saying that phones should be turned off and away, not even allowing them to be on the desk, is ridiculous.

In middle school and high school, if there was an emergency, a family member could call the school, or if a student needed to call home, they could use the nurse’s phone or the main office’s phone. There are other ways for students and families to contact each other without using cell phones. Once in college, the other options tend to go away.

In some instances, a professor won’t seem to care that a student is on their phone, and that could be because A. there is a situation that the student needs to resolve and the professor is aware, or B. a professor doesn’t care and will let the student face the consequences of their own actions. The age range of college students is typically 18-23, technically adults. As adults, staff members should be able to trust their students to not use their phones during class, and to use them only when they need to. Also as adults, we have additional concerns such as work, medical, or residency. We all have a life outside of academics that need our attention and having “no phones in class” makes it difficult for us to resolve these issues in a timely manner. Such as missing an important call from a doctor and not being able to see it because you had to keep your phone off and away.