Last week, Teens in the Newsroom Program members reported on cell-phone policies and enforcement at various area high schools. Here's a look at two more schools: Enochs and Turlock.
Turlock High School's cell-phone policy is short, sweet and to the point: no cell phones during school hours, period. Cell phones are considered a "distraction to the learning environment."
Though I strongly agree that cell phones should be barred inside the classroom, I feel that the use of cell phones during passing periods and lunch would be beneficial for the students. Some students I have talked with believe that allowing cell phones outside of classtime would reduce the amount of texting that now occurs during class.
The leniency of instructors toward this rule varies. If a cell phone goes off in class, some teachers simply tell the student to turn it off, whereas others will immediately confiscate it. However, almost all teachers will immediately confiscate a phone if a student is texting during class time.
Campus supervisors' enforcement of this rule varies as well. If the infraction occurs within a few minutes of the last bell, most turn the other way. On the other hand, I had a friend who pulled out her phone as she was walking into the bathroom to call her mom; a campus supervisor saw her take the phone out of her pocket prematurely and followed her into the bathroom. My friend was issued a detention.
Basically, Turlock's policy is as follows: There is no cell-phone use permitted on campus during school hours.
If you wish to test your luck, good luck. Some days you might get lucky, other days you might not.
Natalia Lima/Teens in the Newsroom Program
Here's a sampling of how Enochs High teachers and administrators address cell-phone use by students:
Pre AP-AP physics teacher Phone must be turned off in class; otherwise, phone is taken and a parent must pick it up.
AP European history teacher Phone shouldn't be seen or heard. After a violation, student gets a warning. After a repeat offense, the phone and the student are sent to the supervision office.
Supervision office The phone is to be turned off and not visible during school hours. First offense, student gets a warning; second time, a one-hour detention; and so on. In the first and second warnings, the phone is taken to the supervision office and the student must pick it up after school.
Shelby Sutter/Teens in the Newsroom Program