Cell phone policy questioned due to possibility of cheating

Michelle Chong, Features Editor

A new age of casually using cell phones during school has arrived. Recently, the KatyISD administration issued a new policy concerning tbe use of cell phone devices during school for students. Students are allowed to use their cellular devices as long as the usage remains limited in the hallways and during lunchtimes. The new policy regarding the use of cell phones has received a warm response overall, including from the faculty. However the concern remains: will the new policy make it easier for students to cheat?

According to Algebra II and Pre-Calculus teacher Mary “Missy” Birch, she does not anticipate students desiring to cheat via their electronic devices. Despite this, the math department did decide on taking precautions to prevent student temptations.

“We in the math department decided to have kids place cell phones on the ground, upside down,” Birch said. “[However] we do not anticipate students cheating in class, just trying to diminish the temptation. We know that the kids can slip [the cell phones] out of pockets easily, so we have them place [them cell phones] face down on the floor. So we can see better if people are trying to get information out of pockets.”

Even so, Birch expressed relief about not having to take disciplinary action every time a student tries to use his or her cell phones.  In the past, teachers disciplined students by taking away their cell phones in class. Ultimately, parents would be forced to pick up their child’s cell phone and pay a $15 fine to retrieve the device.

      “[I am glad] we do not have to deal with discipline of it,” Birch said. “I do not mind if kids listen to music while doing assignments. I listen to music when I grade my tests. However, there should not be a need to text or talk. We are too busy having fun in math.”

      Senior Daniel Cook agreed that being allowed to use cellular devices is helpful in terms of completing assignments for class. The new policy is also helpful in case an emergency occurs during school.

“It is a lot more useful to get stuff done,” Cook said. “[It is] useful for getting stuff from parents. It is our contact to the outside world. If there is a fire, we can get out phones.”

The new policy was enacted with the hopes of stimulating learning for student achievements. However, the new policy did not change much in terms of cell phone use according to junior Courtney Edmonds.

“People use their cell phones anyways,” Edmonds said. “Some people need to use it to text parents. [The policy] is more convenient.”

Senior Ashley Ramsey believes that the new policy allows students to be more responsible for themselves and therefore can be trusted to not cheat.

“I do not think it is easier,” Ramsey said. “[The policy] is more respected because the students feel like they are being more trusted.”

Despite increased freedom in terms of technology, the school faculty and administration continue to emphasize and enforce that cheating is an unacceptable behavior.

“As far as cheating goes, it is always easier to just learn the material rather than come up of a way to cheat,” Birch said.