The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

Indiana government bans cell phones in classroom

The Indiana state government has solidified legislation prohibiting the use of cell phones, personal computers, and gaming devices while teachers are giving instruction to students. 

Beginning in the 2024-25 academic year, all public school districts within Indiana will be required to create and enforce policies regarding cell phone restriction in accordance with the law. Each district will enact measures, though their strictness or leniency towards cell phone restrictions will be determined by each district. 

Many teachers and students oppose the ruling. Spanish teacher Abby Gray disagreed with the decision, stating that “[the district] will still make students do work on a laptop, which has a lot of the same capabilities, and can be used for cheating purposes.” Additionally, Gray said that “some people work better when they can tune in to their music,” and believes that students should remain able to utilize this form of technology for beneficial purposes, as she and many other teachers have gradually integrated some form of cell phone usage into their classrooms. 

Geometry teacher Janis Berzins, who enforces a strict phone policy within his classroom, believes that unrestricted cell phone access “causes students not to focus on their work.” However, Berzins opposes a statewide ban on cell phones. “I think the teacher should be able to make the decision in their own classroom,” Berzins said, “for me, I am going to keep my policy the way it is, but there are teachers who integrate cell phones into their classroom and I don’t think they should be forced not to allow that.”

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Junior Aeneas Scheutz firmly opposes the ruling. “[Cell phone usage] allows me to remain independent with how I’m using my time,” Scheutz said, “it allows me to learn how to use my time effectively.” Moreover, junior Owen Gerber said that cell phones are “definitely a good resource that is available to use whenever you need to.” Additionally, Gerber states that, while unrestricted cell phone usage holds “both positives and negatives, [students] use technology so much that it’s inevitably integrated into our daily academic lives.”

According to Education Week, approximately 76.9 percent of secondary schools prohibit “non-academic use” of cell phones within their institution. However, according to the same source, about 70% of students nationwide use their cell phones during class. 

Indiana school districts will make cell phone restriction decisions prior to the beginning of the 2024 academic year.

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