BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — One local high school will put an end to cellphone usage in the classroom this school year.
Lakeview High School Principal Jeffrey Bohl said they’ve seen an increase in problems with so many students having cellphones now.
Bohl said he began examining the effect cellphones have on the learning experience when he took the principal position four years ago.
“From an educational standpoint it’s a huge boon and a tremendous burden,” Bohl said when asked about using cellphones in the classroom. “It puts literally millions of ways for kids to be distracted in their pockets for access 24/7.”
Before this school year, each teacher could decide on whether mobile devices could be used in classrooms. The school now has Chromebook laptops for every student which changed the conversation from how to enforce cellphone usage to if they were necessary for classes.
Lakeview school officials say no.
While students at Lakeview can’t have their cellphones in the classroom, there still is some mobile freedom. The policy allows students cellphone access when they are not in class.
“We have eight minutes passing time if they want to go to their locker and text and use their cellphone,” Bohl said. “They can also have them at lunch.”
Lara VanDis’ son will start freshman year at Lakeview this fall.
Though she’s shaking off her nerves of her son growing up, she calls the cellphone ban a “fair” policy
“It’s going to be a good thing,” VanDis said. “I have a hard time when I’m trying to work on my phone and do something else, and kids are trying to learn and gather new information and absorb things and I just don’t think that’s possible [with cellphones].”
“We want them thinking hard. We want them thinking deeply about the content, and more and more the distractions that cellphones create are getting in the way of that,” added Bohl.
He said that some parents expressed safety concerns. They want to be able to text their kids in the event of an emergency.
Lakeview High School officials said that they consulted outside experts who say cellphones can cause more issues in the event of an emergency, including circulating false information and interfering with emergency responders.
“We understand the feeling that somehow we’re less safe if our students don’t have their cellphones. If we believed that at all we would not be making that change,” said Bohl.