The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

Valley Ventana’s weekly Connections game: Week of April 22. Photo via Canva
Connections: Week of April 22
Valley Ventana, Staff • April 23, 2024
Wrestling coach Tim Clarkson was named the 5A Region IV Coach of the Year by his peers. Music by MorningLightMusic on YT
Wrestling coach named tops for Region IV 5A
April 22, 2024
Junior Sayers Allen poses for a photo at the golf region competition on April 17. Photo via SVHS Golf.
Swinging it into high gear
Grayson Cook, Staff Writer • April 19, 2024
In Comal school district, 22.0% of students are eligible to participate in the federal free and reduced price meal program, making the federal nutrition program a necessity. Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.
Texas should adopt federal nutrition program
Bethany Mann, Editor-in-Chief • April 18, 2024
Olivia Fuentes will play beach volleyball at Tarleton University in the fall after signing on April 17.
Photo by Daniel Grant
Toe the sign
Alex Whelchel, Managing Editor • April 18, 2024

School policies affect cell phone use

Bethany Mann
Even though students are required to put their phones away in class, they will often hide it behind their desk.

When sophomore Karli Nimmo walks into seventh period world history, she puts her phone in cell phone pockets on the wall. 

“I like to put my phone up because it helps me keep my mind on class and it keeps me off of my phone,” Nimmo said.

Because of concerns about cell phone addiction, distractions in the classroom and safety, schools across the country have banned the use of cellphones. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that 77% of U.S schools have banned cellphones in school for non academic purposes. 

“The cell phone pockets in the front of my class are helpful for students to use because it eliminates a giant distraction in class, and most students use the pocket and it does help them stay on task,” history teacher Tracy Medina said.

According to Michael Rich, an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and an associate professor of social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the human brain can’t think about more than one thing at a time. 

“And so what we think of as multitasking is actually rapid-switch-tasking,” Rich told the Harvard Gazette. “And the problem with that is that switch-tasking may cover a lot of ground in terms of different subjects, but it doesn’t go deeply into any of them.” 

On the other hand, Jessica Lieb of B Honest Media believes that phones in school can help with safety, communication, learning opportunities, socialization and digital literacy.

“For many parents, the pros of being able to communicate with their child at school are the deciding factor in allowing their child to have a phone at school,” Lieb wrote in an article for School Up. “With proper instruction and management students can learn to responsibly use their mobile devices safely.”

The school district cell phone policy underwent changes in 2023, including that a student has to have approval prior to using a phone for education purposes, cell phones must be turned on silent in class or turned off completely and cell phones are only allowed for recreational use before and after school and in between classes.

Punishment for breaking the policies include a parent notification on the first offense, a five dollar fine on the second offense, a $10 fine on the third offense and finally a $15 fine on any future offenses.

“I like the cell phone pockets because it is a visual way to show expectations of where students should put their phones in class,” Medina said.

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