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NEWS: District introduces new cell phone policy for start of school year

Emily Mendez
The new cell phone policy at East prohibits the use of cell phones during intstructional time.

Plainfield East High School begins this school year with a new addition to the handbook. A new cell phone policy was put into place directly by the District 202 school board, in order to further define our pre-existing one. 

Assistant Principal Dr. Michael Romeli, who was on the Discipline Committee that decided on the change, said, “A lot of the gear towards that policy was eliminating the distraction during that instructional time. Allowing teachers to teach and students to learn, and to just kind of give up their personal device for that 56 minute class, or the length or duration of that class.” 

Instructional time is defined as the period between the bells that start and end a class.

The new policy encourages teachers to issue more warnings towards students when they begin shifting their attention to their cell phones. Teachers are permitted to issue 5 warnings before the student is put on a disciplinary contract.

This contract assigns the student a designated area in which their cell phone is to be placed upon arrival into each of their classrooms.

 PEHS Dean Mr. Jason Vollmer said, “It’s more lenient than the old policy because now you get 5 warnings instead of just the 3. Because in the past it was 3 warnings, and on the 4th it was a detention. So now you get that 4th and 5th, and even on the 5th you’re on a contract – there’s still no consequence, per se. There’s no detention hours attached with it. Kids still get that conversation, that opportunity to change their behavior.” 

Cell phone warnings may accumulate but, “For the majority of kids, they’re not affected by it, really. Because if you look at the numbers, percentage-wise, most of our students follow the expectation.” said Vollmer.

Though the policy is to be strictly enforced, administrators hope it is seen as less of a rule and more of an opportunity to learn.

PEHS Principal Dr. Joseph O’Brien said, “It’s supposed to keep, number one, a respectful climate in that classroom so there’s an opportunity for students to learn and teachers to teach. Using the laptop as the supplement, not the cell phone. I think it also creates an environment that will be safer for a number of people.”

The newly established cell phone policy begins with breaking the habit of students depending on non-school issued technology throughout the school day. It places emphasis on students properly engaging themselves in the prospect of learning.

 Associate Principal of Curriculum and Instruction Mrs. Cindy Egizio said, “I think it’s a bump in the road. I think that individual students use their phones differently and I think that’s how we have to look at it,”  Egizio said. She stresses that “The consequences are easily avoided. I think that we are all, myself included, kind of addicted [to our phones].”

With circulation surrounding the new policy, administrators agree that as the world continues advancing, so must we. Our rules and policies must adapt to overcome any future challenges we may encounter.

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About the Contributors
Daniella Torres, Staff Writer
Hola, my name is Daniella Torres, I am a Junior and this is my second year working with East Side News. I like writing and reading poetry, dancing, and listening to music. I'm very excited to be a part of the newspaper another year, hope you enjoy!
Emily Mendez
Emily Mendez, Staff Writer
Hello, my name is Emily Mendez. I'm a junior and this is my 3rd year in journalism. I enjoy reading, writing, and surprise surprise journalism. I love talking to new people and playing tennis even though I hate running. I hope y’all have fun reading our stories and interacting with East Side News!

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