Cafeteria Cell Phone Policies: Part of the Problem

Cory’s palms were white, forcibly pressed against the desktop as he stood up slowly. He glared at the administrator, who only stared back blankly, gripping his phone in their hands. “Cell phone policy, sorry. You should have thought about that before you brought it out. Your parents can pay $15 for it back on” Cory’s lips were pressed thin as he bit back his remark, ignoring the rest of the students in the cafeteria watching the interaction intently. He let out a huff before sitting back down, blocking out the comments from people sitting at his table. He still had no idea what the time was and now that he had been ‘using’ it during lunch, remained phone-less. 


Dobie’s abundance of cell phone policies are often viewed as unreasonable or faulty amongst Dobie’s students and even certain staff members in our school. And while there are certain rules that are perfectly understandable, the main one that causes controversy is the policy regarding cell phone use in the cafeteria.


“The policy regarding cell phone use in the cafeteria is one of the only ones I disagree with,” James Spencer, 8th, explains. “Lunch is our break time where we can get away from possible stresses during the school day, so we should have access to our phones. Phones could really help students ‘escape’ which could positively impact a lot of us.” 


Although the strict enforcement of these policies gives our staff a bad reputation, the truth is that certain adults in our school feel the same way we do.


“I believe that students’ lunch time is their time to “unwind” from the classes they have been to and refresh for the rest of the day they have ahead of them. It is their “break” from the classroom and during that break, they should be allowed to use their cell phones to be on social media, listen to music, or text their friends,” Dobie’s agriculture teacher, Ms. Kling, reasons. “I believe this would help ease some of the phone issues we have in the classroom.” 


Despite the constant reminders regarding those policies, there are common occurrences in which students often do not follow these set rules and restrictions anyway.   


“I’ve noticed students tend to ignore the policies, especially the ones in the cafeteria which I get,” Madison Cuellar, 8th grade, commented. “I’ve never met anyone in our school who has told others to put away their phone seriously. And to be completely honest, even if someone did, I doubt anyone on campus would genuinely listen to them.” 


In general, phones can be seen as a relaxing tool and/or device that students deserve to have access to during what is considered our time away from stressful classes. It would relieve the stresses of teachers too, giving students time to use their phones rather than during instructional periods. It would overall improve our school as a whole and make everything easier for everyone involved.