Opinion: New cell phone ban good for kids

Sophie Collins, Writer

A new cell phone bill has been proposed to the state of Michigan for students of any age to not have the ability to use their cell phones during school and on the bus. The name of the bill is Bill 6171 and was proposed at the beginning of this school year.

The amount of teenagers who use cell phones has risen dramatically the past couple years; not just at home, but also at school. According to News Folks, the average teenager uses their phone for eight hours a day. Students tend to use their phones when they get bored or have nothing else to do. Although phones can be used for some school related things, overall they are not needed in school.  

“The sad part is when I look around the hallways at lunch,” Assistant Principal Laura Lemke said,  “how many people I see sitting by themselves paying attention to his/her phone versus talking with people.”  

Many school administrators feel the use of cell phones is causing teens to become more dependent on the internet rather than figuring out answers on their own. Students lose focus, go for their phone and before they know it, they are behind. So, naturally they look the answers up on Google. With the distraction of the phones taken away, students will be more focused on school work. 

With phones becoming used more around FHS, the administration is seeing what steps need to be taken to restrict the use of phones at school. 

“When teachers cannot teach because of the amount of time spent on cell phone issues or the amount of times they have to redirect students— then the cell phone restrictions will be revisited,” Lemke said.

The solution could be shutting down the ability to use phones other than for emergencies. A middle school in East Lansing made a new rule that phones are to be completely shut off and put away during the school day.  The students feel better with this new rule.  Less cyber bullying is happening around the school, more people talk to each other and they still have the ability to use it in case of emergencies. 

“Personally, I believe the cell phone policy has been beneficial,” freshman Kenzi Jacobson said. “I think kids turn to having meaningful conversations and playing games rather than being on their phone.”

A more positive atmosphere can come from less phone usage. When people don’t have their phones, it could make them talk to their peers. No phones means no pictures taken of other people for bullying, or texting about someone while they are right there.  If teens don’t have their phones to bully their classmates, they most likely won’t do it. 

“I’m always amazed that the student body would find cell phone restrictions to be a negative,” Lemke said. “However, I don’t see a student effort to try to prevent that from happening.” 

In the end, the phones aren’t the problem— the lack of control over one’s phone is the issue. The main goal of the bill is to control the use of teens using their phones during school hours.