NEW CELL PHONE POLICY TAKES OVER HALLWAYS

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by Ricky Amorim

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) deans and administrators announced at the beginning of the school year that Upper School students of SCH are no longer allowed to use their cellphones while walking through the hallways of the school. Students are allowed to use their cellphones while walking from campus to campus, but not in the hallways of each campus. The policy was created through a meeting with the administrators and deans of SCH, and during that meeting there was a lot of brainstorming on what the deans and administrators wanted the SCH community to be like, and what role technology had on this. When this policy was announced on some students did not agree with this policy. 

“I don’t think the policy is fair at all,” said Carlo Filippini, a senior at SCH. “Many people were using their phones in the hallways last year and there were no problems. People sometimes need to use their phones to study or do homework”.

Some students did agree with this policy.

“I feel it is fair because people should be interacting with each other,” said Jack Sanderson, a sophomore at SCH. “Phones do not promote interaction within the students because they focus only on social media instead of what is in front of them”.

While students all around SCH have different opinions on this policy, few students actually know why the policy was created. According to SCH Dean Courtney West, the SCH staff wanted to do their best in terms of promoting as much social interaction between students as possible, especially in the new space that was made for the school during the summer. They feel that the use of cellphones in the hallways fades the social connection between students.

“As we moved into this new space, we had an opportunity to think about what that new space means for our community, and what kind of community we want to be, said Courtney West, an Upper School Dean at SCH. “The community we envision is a place where students are greeted by peers and faculty members.”

Dean West also claimed that the continuous atmosphere created students looking down at their phones prompted Administrators and Deans to create this policy. 

Every policy has consequences. The first time a student is caught using a phone while walking in the hallways, teachers will simply tell that student to put their phone away. If a student continues to be told by a teacher to put away their phone, that student could face detention. As the new rule comes into effect, hearing how students respond to the policy is still viewed as important to the SCH Upper School Administration. 

“I think it is always important to hear how the community responds to new norms,” said West. “I also think these new norms, while they may be hard to adjust to, I feel that it is best for our community. I like to see students interact when in the halls.”

Still, some students see that the policy is not going to change no matter how much student response there is.

“I don’t feel that it is going to change. That would mean faculty are giving power to students, which then creates more unrealistic ideas,” said Filippini.

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