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Students, staff sound off about headphone and cell phone ban in class

Behavior like this is beyond contempt.

Behavior like this is beyond contempt.

By JADA ARNOLD, staff writer

Teachers and admin feel like the headphones and earbuds policy is helping students, but students say they need music to work better.

The school cracked down on headphones and cell phones last semester, banning them entirely from all classrooms during class time.

“We hope for students to pay attention in class and talk to teachers,” said Jason Harris, assistant principal on the SHS campus.

But only one out of twelve students we talked to like the new policy.

“I think it’s stupid because it helps me focus more listening to music rather than without,” said Aiden Diehl, a junior from Anchorage.

Some of the teachers were ambivalent about what’s happening in their classroom.

“We spend more time making students obey rules and less time actually teaching,” said Jake Buikema, a language arts teacher at the SHS campus. “When the policy first was made, things were okay, and now one or two students every class are defiant with the rule that they just don’t pay attention, they are too busy trying to be on their phones and earbuds. They pay attention more to hiding it.”
Another teacher echoed that idea.

“I haven’t seen a huge change in learning. Some students might’ve even slowed down,” said Dawn Pomrening, the academic support teacher at the SHS campus.

A third teacher we talked to said there are a lot less students getting distracted, and they are definitely more focused on work, although he can see lots students are frustrated by it.

“I think it’s a good thing, because it teaches students to focus on work and not worry about what’s happening on their phones,” said Paul Apfelbeck, the media and info teacher at the SHS campus.

Almost all the students we talked to say that listening to music helps them get work done, because it blocks out all the sounds around them and helps them concentrate on finishing their work.

Two out of twelve students actually said that the policy had actually helped them get their work done and do better in school.