A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Take the Cell Phone to Hear Students Moan


Nearly everyday, a student’s phone is being taken away from them by a teacher. What are Greenway students’ opinions on this? Better yet, what do the teachers think? Also, what happens to the phone after it’s turned in? These mesmerizing questions could keep one up at night unless they read The Demon Dispatch.

Junior Katie Jones says she once had it taken away for it being on her lap, yet she wasn’t using it. “I wasn’t on it at all; he just took it.” Jones felt like this act was an injustice.

Math teacher Ms. Vera says that her students aren’t allowed to use their phones because “they get distracted and don’t pay attention” and because of that, she takes a phone at least once a day. She says there is no excuse to have your phone out, and if it’s an emergency, the front office should be notified instead. The most common excuses she gets from students are “I’m checking my grades” or “My parents are texting me.”

Senior Autumn Rain says she got her phone taken away because her friend was using it while the teacher was talking. “I didn’t make up an excuse. The teacher didn’t know it was mine until he gave it to her at the end of class,” she said. She also says she’s gotten her phone taken away multiple times, and she’s told the teachers that if they touch her phone or anything of hers again, “They’d have issues.” Rain is very protective of her cellphone, and you can see that she likes to use her phone to take selfies.

Junior Dainera Bowen says she’s gotten her phone taken away because she was “being rude.” She didn’t give an excuse, but she did give the teacher a dirty look for having taken it away from her and not even warning her about it. It’s been proven that “dirty looks” at staff members is typically an ineffective method of getting one’s phone back.

Ms. Rademacher in the attendance office says that once a phone is turned in, they look at the record to determine the consequence based on it. The first time is a warning and the student can pick it up after school. The second time is an hour-long detention and they can pick it up after school. The third time is a two-hour detention and a parent has to pick it up. Despite the amount of students at Greenway, they get a “very minimal” number of phones taken away in a day. Sometimes there are 1-3 phones collected, or none. She also said that generally, it is the same people that are having to go and collect their phones.

Greenway students love their phones; however, Congress has not yet passed an amendment to the Constitution about “the right to bear phones”. ¬†All societal change starts with a dream.