Tegan Dugger, Staff Writer

The school year has just begun, and there are some changes this year regarding phones. Last year, students were allowed to use their phones in classes that required them and study halls. Now, phones have pretty much been banned from Dover high school, well sort of. Any classroom you walk in has these elementary school-looking phone slots that are hung on the doors. The purpose of these slots is for students to put their phones in their assigned slots every time they walk into class. Most students who were here last year knew this change would happen. Kami Huff, a sophomore at Dover high school has this to say about predicting the change, “ I definitely saw the change coming after last year’s issues. I agree that we as a society need more face to face interaction, but at the same time taking phones away completely won’t solve the problem.” Kami makes a fair point. Students have been encouraged to take this time away from phones to have real life interactions with peers. This is an issue that goes far beyond the classroom. 


      Studies show that the average person checks his/her phone 344 times a day. The average time that a teen is on his/her phone is seven and a half hours a day. That’s crazy, so I think that taking a break from it during school isn’t necessarily horrible. So far this sounds like a good plan, right? Well, there are definitely some issues that this change has brought along. My biggest issue is that phones are still necessary. I have had multiple classes in the past week that have required some sort of phone use, but I’ve been leaving my phone in my locker because who wants to deal with those annoying slots. This brings me to my second issue.The phone slots are mounted on the back of classroom doors, so every time you try to enter or exit a class, you’re getting stuck behind twelve kids trying to get/put away their phones. The best way to fix these issues would be to eliminate any and all phone requirements in class. This would make it so you won’t randomly need your phone in class when it’s been left in your locker. Since phones are only allowed out during lunch, that’s when I do some of my homework that requires a phone. It’s annoying because last year I was able to use lunch as a time to sit with friends and eat, but now it is me trying to get as much work done as possible because it’s the only time I can access online school work. So yeah, I would prefer that instead of being assigned a google classroom assignment, I received physical copies of the work.


    Surprisingly enough, we are not the only school who has made this change. Around 77% of schools in the U.S have made the decision of no phones. It is a controversy among parents. I interviewed my friend Olivia’s mom about her thoughts, here’s what she had to say, “I think that if you ban the phones at school, then the school shouldn’t ask students to use their phones for schoolwork. I’m all for kids putting the phones down and having real conversations, but there needs to be a way where phones can be completely taken off the table instead of still being used for school.” The Washington Post recently published an article about the phone topic, and it highlighted the parents that view this as a negative. Some parents are concerned with not being able to reach their children in the case of a school shooting or any other horrible instance like such. This is a valid point to take into consideration. Also, just reaching out to their children about anything during the day is eliminated. I have had friends who didn’t know that practices were canceled  or that mom wouldn’t be able to pick them up after school. 


   With these negatives also comes some positives. Like I said earlier, teens have a massive issue with phone addiction. Natalie Couts, a junior at Dover said this, “ My daily screen time is nine hours a day. I know that sounds like a lot, but I’m usually just listening to music.” Wow, I’m speechless… I’m just kidding, it is really easy for one’s screentime to get high simply because you listen to music. The school’s goal with the phone rule is to get us to be social again. I think that covid 19 really messed with some people’s social skills. When the room is silent, instead of making new friends and talking to people, you have that little rectangle to talk to. So as easy as it is to hate on the school’s decision, at the end of the day the change was made to bring people together again. I have to admit that it gets annoying when you’re just trying to talk with friends but everyone is on their phones. So those are my thoughts on the phone ban. It does have some negatives, but I hope that it will ultimately make us closer as a school community.