New year, new policy

Selene Thompson, Leopard Life Staff Writer

As of this 2019-2020 school year at WSMS, a new rule was enforced for students and teachers: the cell phone policy.

“Students are now able to focus better on their school work,” said Maggie Liu, 8.

The parents were the ones who originally came up with the idea. They got the idea from other districts along with research and then decided that they wanted something to change. They brought it to the school’s attention, and the policy was created.  

“It is my understanding that the new policy actually began with a group of parents. Last year, a group of parents came to the district and asked for a cell phone policy review. A survey went out to parents and staff, and the new policy came out of that data,” said Kay Bordelon, WSMS counselor.

Even Mrs. Novicke, WSMS History teacher, thinks that students are more engaged in learning and talking with each other. 

Our new cell phone policy was created as a way to limit distractions in the classrooms and hallways and maximize learning during the school day. Without electronics at lunch, students are learning to find more ways to socialize verbally,” said Kathy Stone, WSMS counselor.

Most students, maybe even some teachers, are probably disappointed about the new policy because a lot of them potentially rely on phones. Even though students might think they could learn in class better with their phone, there are many more ways to feel justified without a home phone. 

I would suggest that students talk to their parents about what to do if they need to stay for tutoring or if pick-up plans after school change. All the rooms and the front office have phones if you need to touch base with your parents,” said Mrs. Stone. 

The reasoning behind the new phone policy is a lot deeper than taking away phones just to take them away. Now WSMS students are able to socialize without their devices distracting them and have real, full conversations.    

“The more practice students have without electronics in these social situations, the more prepared they will be as an adult to successfully socialize in future jobs, with friends, and in professional social settings,” said Mrs. Stone.

According to Vawn Himmelsbach on her blog at, there is a division of devices students should and shouldn’t use for school. Some technological advances may be beneficial, yet some could encourage cheating or cause a disruption in the lunchroom or classroom.

“Last year, we did tweak our campus policy with No Tech Tuesdays to give students the opportunity to talk face to face at lunchtime on Tuesday,” said Mrs.Bordelon

Nonetheless, students have the new policy to use to their advantage. Last year the policy was a bit flawed for the simple reason that it was only tuesday that phones weren’t aloud, so students were able to use their phone for other things besides schoolwork. Even though they do not have their phones in class this year, does not mean they cannot have fun while exploring.