Cell phone policy demystified

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Cell phone policy demystified

Abby Givens and Lauren Cook

As mobile phones play an increasingly large role in the lives of young people, the school has addressed its presence with an evolving phone policy. Several changes have been made to both the USB and the USG cell phone policy as of this academic year. Inkwell spoke with several students about their knowledge of the phone policy.

Junior Victoria Menzies said her understanding was that students could not “have phones out in an academic setting.” Freshmen Rae Wartelle and Cameron Stockton agreed that “it depends on the teacher,” but that phones can be used in the lounge and not in the cafeteria or hallways. They both said that the policy could be a bit strict at some times, but that having some structure was beneficial. 

According to an email sent by Annie Green, the only acceptable locations for phone use between 8:00am and 3:10pm are dorm rooms and the student lounge. Head of the Upper School for Girls Jake Guadnola said that while AWS encourages students having their own cell phone after eighth grade, they want to create a more community-based environment by inspiring students to connect off their screens while at school. “At 3:10? Knock yourselves out!” he said. “When you’re in the student lounge, we’re conceding the point. But when you’re eating lunch, talk to each other. When you’re walking the hallways, look each other in the eye.”

The Upper School for Boys has a different approach in their new academic building. According to junior Eli Dugan, the students “hand in phones in the morning everyday”, only to be used during lunch and then retrieved at the end of the day. We were unable to connect with Head of the Upper School for Boys, Susan Bauska, but believe the reasoning behind the policy to be very similar to that of the Upper School for Girls.