Phones are too Tempting for School


Skylah Murray

English teacher Ms. Flanigan’s “no phones or headphones” poster on her classroom door

When spring of 2020 hit, Pinellas County Schools fumbled to learn how to work online, which brought on the switch to technology in schools much faster than it had been progressing. Now, most of the assignments that students at our school have are only accessible on a device or can only be turned in online. Phones are made to be used, not put down, so encouraging students to go on them during some class time pretty much guarantees that they will be on them during the rest of the class time too. This will never be a good thing.

When students are given class time to work on homework they get to utilize their phones. This means that many students choose to spend this time on recreational apps rather than getting important things done. Because of how addictive the screen is, students often don’t realize how time-consuming being on their phones is. Even if they are doing assignments, nothing stops them from looking up answers on the internet, not only when completing the answers at home, but while in class too. This decreases the discipline students have to prevent cheating and ensure they complete work in a timely manner. It also takes away from their creativity in activities such as projects and essays because they have access to other people’s ideas online. Schools should not be incorporating phone use in classes if it just decreases their students’ originality. No teacher wants that, as evidenced by how many of them use to check for authenticity on assignments.

Besides encouraging cheating, using phones in school also leads to anxiety, which is the last thing any high schooler needs. We already have so many other things going on at St. Pete High, such as rehearsing for theater, winter sports, fulfilling service club requirements, or getting ready for Gold Fever. These activities take up hours every day for many students. Keeping up with homework is just another task on top of it all, and having phones around while at school just makes it less doable since it encourages procrastination. The choice that was mentioned previously to play games or scroll on social media instead of using class time to do homework is proof of that. Procrastination is never a one-time thing. It causes students to keep putting off the assignment and grow increasingly anxious. So why are students choosing to make things harder on themselves by keeping their phones near them during school hours?

It is hard for anybody to resist constantly going on their phones, which shows the reason that increased phone use for school-related work is not a good thing. Phones are meant to be tempting, so we should choose to be stricter with our use in schools.