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Editor’s note: The following is a sampling...

Editor’s note: The following is a sampling of letters submitted to

the Leader by students at John Burroughs High School in response to a

Sept. 10 story about the school’s cell phone policy. Students are

presently prohibited from using cell phones during school hours, but


Tim Brehm, a Burroughs photography instructor, has asked the Board of

Education to change the policy to allow students to use their phones

during nutrition and lunch breaks.

Students less defiant with a new phone policy


This is a ridiculous policy. What is the point of being able to

carry a phone if you are not allowed to use it? The rule should just

be that students are not allowed to bring cell phones on campus.

I am in favor of a new policy that would allow students to carry

cell phones and use them during nutrition and lunch breaks only. I

feel this policy will make teenagers less defiant of the rules. If

students are allowed to use phones during certain times, they will be

less tempted to use them during class or other times when they are


not allowed.

I admit to carrying a cell phone at school, and whenever I had it

turned on it never disturbed any of my classes. I have used it most

of the time to call my parents for rides home or to practice. I have

seen many students use their cell phones during lunch and nutrition,

and it hasn’t hurt anybody. Though students are allowed to use the

pay phones if they need to make a call, they are nowhere to be found.

The only one I know of is by the baseball field, where students are


not allowed to go. So what are we to do?

Rachel Ross

JBHS senior

Cell phones discourage social interaction

Unlike many others, I believe we should keep the current policy

for several reasons. First, I am under the impression that students

are allowed to use their cell phones during an emergency that

involves the school, such as an earthquake. The next reason I am in

favor of keeping the current policy is that I believe if students are

allowed to use cell phones during their nutrition and lunch breaks,

this would result in tardiness to their following class. Cell phones

already tend to ring in class periodically, but not enough to disrupt

the learning process. If they were allowed to be used during school

hours, then the classroom would become a place of incessant ringing

instead of a place of learning. Finally, if people are constantly

talking on cell phones rather than talking to peers, it would

discourage social interaction, which is a main purpose of being at


Rachel Gould

JBHS senior

Existing cell-phone policy impractical

I think the current cell phone policy is completely impractical

and absurd. Right now we’re allowed to have cellular phones at

school, but we’re not permitted to use them under any circumstances.

I understand not tolerating cell phones in class, but what about our

free periods? I’m aware a new policy is being (considered), one where

we have consent to use our personal phones solely during nutrition

and lunch. Usage during any other time would, of course, be

unacceptable and any violators would have to deal with the

consequences. I feel that it is an adequate solution for the

situation at hand. We’re in dire need of a new policy. One that works

with our students not against them.

Jasmine Ramos

JBHS senior

Students should be able to use phones on campus

I believe that a new policy for cell phone use on campus is more

practical then the old policy. I think the (existing) policy is very

impractical, because if we are allowed to bring cell phones (to

school) we should be able to use them. I know how it feels to need to

get in touch with my mom to tell her I need to stay after school but

can’t. This can be very annoying, not to mention there is not a

single pay phone on campus for me to use. Adopting a new cell phone

policy would be the best thing, because it would eliminate the

problems of having to call your mom or dad to tell them what’s going

on after school, and the problem of students breaking the rules by

going into the bathroom and talking on their phones anyway!

Michael Doto

JBHS senior

Cell phones should be no different than pay phones

I believe we need a new policy. Students should be able to use our

cell phones at nutrition, lunch and after school. By allowing a new

policy at our school, students would be able to communicate whenever

there are emergencies. As long as it’s used at the right time and not

while class is in session, then I see no problem with it. Our school

recently took out its pay phones, so how are we supposed to

communicate with people outside of school? Even if there were pay

phones, what’s the difference between pay phones and cell phones? Why

let students bring cell phones to school when you can’t use them? I

also think cell phones would increase safety on school grounds. If

anyone was in trouble or had an emergency, help would be just a ring

away. It would be more practical to contact parents in case there is

a change of plans in the day. Being able to use cell phones would be

a good thing because it’s easier to communicate, you can make

arrangements and it takes away temptation to break the rules. It

would make the lives of many students easier.

Nancy Perez

JBHS senior

Some students abuse cell-phone policy

Cell phones should only be used in emergencies and to change plans

with your parents. At John Burroughs High School, students have been

abusing that privilege by using them when they’re not supposed to. I

would keep the (existing) policy, but frankly I really don’t care.

Think about it: Wouldn’t you get disrupted in class when you hear a

cell phone going off?

Sean Kreisberg

JBHS student

Why carry phones if you can’t use them?

I am most heartily in favor of a new policy, which would allow

students to access their cell phones during sanctioned nutrition and

lunch breaks.

The (existing) policy has proved to be both impractical and

unrealistic. While I concede it was a step forward for students to be

allowed to carry their cell phones provided they’re concealed as well

as turned off, time has shown that this privilege is worth nothing if

we students are prohibited from using them.

Teachers and school administrators need to recognize that students

are going to communicate on their phones regardless of whether they

have to duck in a bathroom stall to do so. Were students permitted to

use their cell phones during lunch and nutrition, the enticement of

going to the trouble of sneaking around to use their phone would be

significantly reduced.

I do not see the harm in students using a cell phone during a time

specifically allotted for a personal break. With a reformed policy,

it would also be more convenient to communicate altered plans to

friends and family members, which would be conducive to education,

rather than disruptive. Residual problems stemming from forced bad

behavior would be greatly reduced as well, in my belief.

Jennifer Funk

JBHS senior