The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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Students miss music and movies while working in class

Credit: Geremu Walker
Freshman Julius Boza was bored in the library so he decided to scroll through TikTok. Social media is a frequent distraction for students on their phones.

A student asks the principal to unblock HBO Max while students stare at their phones as they play games. In general, the students do whatever they want, all hours of the school day. 

Last year, teachers competed with cell phones for students’ attention, some with better outcomes than others. For teachers who constantly fought against cell phones in their classes, the new phone policy comes as a relief.

For example, law teacher Niambi McMillon has been working at Loy Norrix for 19 years. She has always required students to put away their phones and listen to her.

”I like the new phone policy,” McMillon said. “If I were to change it, I would make it so that students had their phones away for the whole day instead of being allowed to have it out for lunch and passing time.”

Principal Christopher Aguinaga said that the school created this procedure to improve the students’ learning environment. In order for it to be effective,it needs to be enforced consistently in each classroom.

Another main reason for the new phone policy is phones’ negative impact on student performance. 

Prior to this year, graduation rates were dropping significantly, partly because of the pandemic, which caused students to constantly be on their phones and inattentive in class. Students would play on their phones and not know what the material they were learning, so that when it came to the final exam they didn’t know what they were doing.

Sophomore Millennium Walker dislikes the cell phone policy. He came from Maple Street, where they also had a phone policy.

“I have a phone, I use it on a regular basis,” Walker said. “I think the new policy is foolish because some classes need phones. I need to listen to music because it helps me focus.” 

Like Walker, many students would use their phones during class last year. I used my phone a lot for music and watching movies because everyone was all done with their work and so was I.

“I used to listen to music all the time in class last year,” Walker said, “and it helped me focus on my schoolwork. Last year, I would be on my phone and listen to music while I work.”

Walker thinks that the phone policy could be changed to allow students to be on their phone for part of the period, but not the rest of it.

“I would change it [the policy] by having no phones during the first 20-30 minutes of class, but then you could be on it for the rest of the time. I do not work better without a phone because I need my music,” said Walker.

People listen to music all the time in class for them to be able to better focus. If the teachers were able to make it so that students could listen to their own individual music, classes would go better. There should be a compromise where students can listen to music on their phones during class if they earn it, and if they don’t, they can just use their Chromebooks.

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