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The Dilemma of the New Phone Policy

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The Dilemma of the New Phone Policy

Grace Ennis, Paperclip Staff/Writer

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This year, Portsmouth High School (PHS) has developed and implemented a new phone policy, in hopes that the use of phones for non-academic purposes in school will diminish.

In the past, students were allowed to keep their phones on them at all times. This year, students are no longer allowed to keep their phones on them unless it is lunchtime or in between classes. If a student is caught with their phone during class-time, while in the halls or classroom, then the phones are confiscated until the end of the day.

In a recent interview with one of the grade office principals, Shawn Donovan, more information was uncovered. “The issue{of phone use} has only escalated throughout the years,” he said.

PHS has always gone by a three strike rule. First offense, the student receives a warning and they can get their phone at the end of the day. For the second time, parents have to come and get it from the grade office, and for the third time, that student can no longer have their phone in school for the rest of the year.

The staff wanted the new phone policy to happen more than the students. Students believe it is their right to keep their phones on them, according to recent interviews, and they also believe that it is their own fault if they use their phone during class and do not get the information being taught.

“The difference is that the staff believes the policy is solving a problem, while the students believe it is creating one,” Donovan said. “Dealing with phones takes up about 80% of my job.”

When asked for suggestions in replace of this controversial policy, students suggested to go back to how it was before, being allowed to have their phone during class and in the hallways, but not during lessons. Donovan, representing the administrators, said if it doesn’t work this year, then they will talk about change and making it stricter. If it works well, it will stick.

The PHS administration does not want to ban cell phones if it isn’t necessary, and they want to reach a happy medium between banning them and allowing them.

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The Dilemma of the New Phone Policy