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OPINION: Students should keep lunchtime phone privileges

Bailey Green, Editor In Chief

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With the recent ultimatum by administrators, threatening to take away phone privileges at lunch if phone use in the hallways continues, the student body has been tense. Schoolwide punishments can only go over so well, but this one seems particularly divisive.

School leadership should not leverage lunchtime phone and earbud privileges in this matter.

To begin with, phones are a social crutch, and while that statement has a negative connotation, phone use can benefit students whose friend groups do not share their lunch or those who simply have trouble making friends to sit with. Other students simply prefer reading ebooks or catching up with people on social media who they would otherwise not have access to. Even for students who are not always doing these things, the lost moments of solitary comfort would be missed, were phones not allowed during lunch.

That being said, a perfectly outgoing student may still prefer to privately listen to music during lunch, whether as an escape from the roar of other students’ conversations or as a way to unwind or forget a bad mood. Students choosing this quieter option chip away at the excessive volume of lunchtimes and should be encouraged to continue to do so.

Other students use their personal devices to aid in conversation or allow for academic pursuits. In discussing current events or pop culture, a phone connected to the internet can become an invaluable tool for fact-checking. As well, doing make-up work or homework assignments during lunch may require a student to utilize their phone. This all to say that, personal and academic research suffers when phone use is forbidden during a student’s relative “free time.”

Now, at the risk of sounding juvenile, one more reason cannot be ignored: A schoolwide punishment just for the sake of disciplining some students drains morale. This is not a new concept; they say that “one bad apple spoils the bunch,” and authority figures have been throwing away “the bunch” in response to the “bad apple” as far back as recorded history. However, that does not make it any less discouraging for the average student to have privileges take away because a sixth of our student body can not take care of their business.

Students should be punished on an individual basis for having phones out or earbuds on in the hallway, possibly with some kind of “three strikes” system. Taking away the privileges of the entire student body only hurts students and encourages them to think that their best interests are not the school’s primary concern.

About the Writer
Bailey Green, Editor-in-Chief

Bailey Green is a senior staffer with three years under her belt. She’s associated with Advanced Theatre Production, National Honor Society, La Bamba,...

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OPINION: Students should keep lunchtime phone privileges