Just Text Me at Lunch

Proposal for Cell Phone Use During Lunch Block Discussed


Photo by Emma Childs

Taylor Parmenter, Kelley Glennon, and Heather Lewis use their phones during lunch block.

Brendan Clark, Contributing Writer

Barnstable High School TGA  representatives and President of the Student Body Joseph Egan have voted and passed a proposal in support of students having the ability to use their cell phones during lunch block. This proposal was then brought to the BHS Handbook Committee, led by Housemaster Steve Kaser and biology and human-anatomy teacher Valerie Lahteine, who have also been considering the possibility of cell phone usage during this time.  Kaser presented the proposal to the BHS Faculty Council, who showed strong support for the change, as well. The proposal is currently awaiting the approval of  Principal Patrick Clark.

Egan and the Handbook Committee worked closely and developed a proposal that addresses both the concerns of the students and the concerns of the faculty regarding cell phone usage in schools.

Egan said he feels that students will be excited about the changes, “I think they are going to love it. It is exactly what they want.”

While the original proposal included a paragraph about the possible usage of cell phones during passing time, administrators felt that there might be a conflict if students were to run into one another or hurt each other as a result of not paying attention to other students in the hallways. Both the administrators and Egan came to the conclusion that the usage of cell phones during passing time would not be allowed.

“For students, lunch is their thirty-minute break during the day, and we feel that they should have the freedom to take care of what they need to take care of,” said Egan.

Administrators additionally expressed a fear that students may be more likely to cheat as a result of having cell phone capabilities during their lunch block. The response from the TGA representatives was that the punishments that are in place will keep students from engaging in acts of cheating just as they do now, and that if students really want to cheat, they will go to all lengths possible to do so.

In regards to when this proposal would go into effect, Egan stated that, “It is difficult to say really, as there is a lot of red tape that we have to go through.” It is anticipated that this proposal will go into effect at the beginning of the next calendar school year so that the handbook can be updated as well.

Student reactions have been generally positive. “I think it is an excellent way to let out some of the urges to use your cell phones during the day and it will also help to prohibit the use of cell phones in class,” said S.J. McNair, freshman.

Egan said he hopes that the proposal will pass and be approved as soon as possible, so that students may enjoy the benefits of having a more technologically integrated school as well as allowing students a more enjoyable experience during the school day.