The Prowler

Phone pouches only push ‘pause’ on growing problem

Cell+phones+and+other+technological+devices+that+cause+distractions+are+placed+in+pouches+such+as+this+one+in+most+classrooms.+Phone+pouches+such+as+these+may+decrease+a+significant+classroom+distraction%2C+but+do+nothing+to+prevent+antisocial+behaviors+when+an+authoritative+person+is+not+present.+
Cell phones and other technological devices that cause distractions are placed in pouches such as this one in most classrooms. Phone pouches such as these may decrease a significant classroom distraction, but do nothing to prevent antisocial behaviors when an authoritative person is not present.

Cell phones and other technological devices that cause distractions are placed in pouches such as this one in most classrooms. Phone pouches such as these may decrease a significant classroom distraction, but do nothing to prevent antisocial behaviors when an authoritative person is not present.

Saijleen Chawla

Saijleen Chawla

Cell phones and other technological devices that cause distractions are placed in pouches such as this one in most classrooms. Phone pouches such as these may decrease a significant classroom distraction, but do nothing to prevent antisocial behaviors when an authoritative person is not present.

Saijleen Chawla, Staff Writer

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When students enter each classroom, they put their phones in a designated red phone pouch labeled with an assigned number. Many teachers take attendance with the phone count, and it has successfully controlled the issue of distraction in class.

Lately, security of cell phones has been tightened due to recent events where students used their technology for antisocial behaviors on the internet, namely cyberbullying. Though cyberbullying is an issue that must be solved, extra phone hawking isn’t the right tactic.

Saijleen Chawla
A student takes his phone out of the assigned phone pouch. Increasing security on phones in school does not stop distasteful behaviors outside of school.

Cyberbullying is an issue of behavior and the need to feel power over another person similar to the action of bullying off the internet. What is different is how it can possibly follow the victim everywhere he or she goes, leaving the victim feeling more trapped and helpless.

When the cell phones and their temptation is placed across the room, the action stops, though the behavior does not. Security on the phone pouches only places a temporary pause on the cyberbullies. It cannot cause an intervention of the bully’s need to harass a fellow classmate.

The phone pouches have eliminated a potential distraction from class time. “I’ve had teachers come to see me personally to thank me for the pouches,” Principal Allen Leonard said. It does not, however, eliminate a danger to the safety of Starr’s Mill students.

The only thing that will help alleviate the problem of cyberbullying is through awareness. Cell phones are not the problem that causes cyberbullying, yet using pouches make them the scapegoat. To stop cyberbullying is to stop the students from engaging in activities online with malicious intent willingly. After all, where are these phone pouches in the hallways between classes and lunch?

Restricting the use of cell phones without giving a good reason is an easy way to avoid a problem instead of facing it and fighting. When the rule was first put in place, most of my teachers didn’t explain why. It was pitched as a new regulation, and teachers might get into trouble themselves by not enforcing the cell phone pouches.

 “It is helpful for the people who need the extra monitoring,” U.S. History teacher Jason Flowers said.

This simply encourages the refusal to use the pouches by many students. “I don’t use the pouches because whatever happened wasn’t me. I can control myself just fine,” junior Serena Hardy said. She, like other students, are frustrated by the possibility of being sent to the office because simple possession of a cell phone.

“Before this, when I caught [my students] with their phones, I would take it up and they would get it at the end of class. Now it is a straight office referral,” Spanish teacher Marcela Sample said.

But most people do not need the extra monitoring that recent events have caused. Cyberbullying is a difficult action to curb, but using the phone pouches do not solve the problem. Instead of restricting the students, they should be taught how to use their technology and privileges wisely, for once they graduate from high school the intended safety of the pouches disappears.

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7 Comments

7 Responses to “Phone pouches only push ‘pause’ on growing problem”

  1. babi arora on December 12th, 2017 11:09 pm

    I like the classroom without cellphones. It is impulsive for the students not to check phone if they have access. However I do not think pouches stops cyber bully.

  2. Veronica cazorla on December 13th, 2017 1:56 pm

    I agree with the article. Cyber bullying starts with the poor attitude (poor self esteem) of the children doing the bullying. Taking the phones away during class does seem to only push pause on the problem, rather than rectify it. Before phones, there was still bullying amongst children, but cyber bullying puts a new spin on it, to where children can hide behind screens and in addition are more prone to be even more offensive, with the “safety” of the distance between bulky and target. It would be good if schools could address the problem more directly. Children who harass other children have some problems with themselves and both their parents and schools need to handle the problem directly.

  3. Harnoor Singh on December 14th, 2017 7:25 pm

    Just like in Universities they should be allowed to carry cell phones. I also agree that pouches are a temporary solution because they don’t teach discipline which very important to be incorporated in students at this age.

  4. HS Kaka on December 16th, 2017 4:06 pm

    I will like to say that I admire your school and I will like to send my children to that school. Your principal deserves appreciation. I think it does help control cyber bullying as the action of posting and getting it viral is controlled. It is not long term control but then short term or temporary control is better than no control.

  5. Sweeny on December 18th, 2017 1:31 am

    This is an interesting read. All schools should follow the phone pouches and there should be car pouch as well. Star Mill’s school principal is wise. I agree cyber bullying can not be stopped till there is awareness within. But this is comforting to know the school authorities are working for the welfare of the students. I will share this article with my co-workers.

  6. Sarabjeet Kaur on December 22nd, 2017 11:26 pm

    Parents and teachers should teach internal discipline students use phone when required. So, i agree that children should be allowed to keep phones.

  7. Sylwester on January 21st, 2018 4:59 pm

    I think a cell pouch is yet another unnecessary gimmick product advertised for teachers. And you are right, Saijleen – collecting phones at the beginning of the lesson does not solve the problem of cyber bullying. It pauses it and distracts the students. An effective way to stop cyber bullying may be through an effective school policy. British schools often sanction students for using phones during school hours. At my school, students are not allowed to have their phones out at any time really. While at school, they should learn. Yet at the same time, they should be allowed to check their devices if they need to speak to their parents, or quickly check something online.

    What should feel quite empowering for all the bullied pupils nowadays is the fact that they are not alone and that there are support groups that take any form of bullying very seriously. I used this short (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK5OeGeudBM) in my last PSHE lesson on e-safety. Maybe some of you will find it helpful.

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