Turning the Tables at Tosa West- The New Cell Phone Policy

Wauwatosa Wests’ new cell phone policy gets mixed reviews as the 2018-2019 school year starts on September 4th.

Over the summer, the Wauwatosa School District released the new cell phone policy in an email to all schools in the district. The official policy states that students are given permission to their phones during lunch, passing periods and in classes where teachers allow them. If there is a certain situation where phones are not allowed, students must put their phone away and out of sight.

“I think the cell phone policy is better than it was last year” says Wauwatosa West Health teacher Nathan Chart. The previous cell phone policy required students to keep phone put away from 8:00 until 3:10 on a school day. “I don’t have to have disagreements with students and it will be easier to avoid those arguments” says Nathan Chart. Many disagreements occurred due to this policy and teachers became tired of arguing with students over the phones.

“I think that even though I wasn’t here last year, I have heard that teachers complained about having arguments with students and the struggles of taking phones down to the office” says Physics teacher Amanda Schreiber. Mrs. Schreiber is first year teacher, new to Tosa West this year. Schreiber thinks the cell phone policy is a great way to help students think responsibly.

“It gives kids more responsibility for taking care of their own phones and takes the pressure off of the teachers and their rules” says Mrs. Schreiber. Teachers have seen a drop in arguments with students due to the new policy.

Students have differing opinions about the new cell phone policy. “It is a good thing because kids can communicate with parents and be able to know about urgent situations quicker” says Wauwatosa West Senior Moira Brown.

“It is also a bad thing because students might have their phone out in the hallway and forget to put it away when they return to class” says Moira Brown. Tosa West Administration has put the responsibility of taking phones from students in the hands of the teachers. Teachers now have a sign indicating whether or not phones are needed for class that day.

Certain apps that students use tend to distract more that others. “I usually watch Netflix on my phone and that seems to distract me the most from school work” says Junior Mallory Inman. Oxford Learning has shown that teens cannot multitask between watching tv and finishing homework at the same time.“I usually turn my phone completely off when I do homework so I am not tempted to watch Netflix” says Mallory Inman.

“I use Gmail, Imessages and Facebook most but I try not to let it distract my teaching” says Mrs. Schreiber. Although cell phones at apps tend to distract from school work, Tosa West students and faculty will work hard to follow cell phone policy regulations.