Phone or No Phone?

Orange County School District enacts new phone restrictions.


New changes were made to the Code of Conduct but one of the hottest topics is the no-phone policy.

One debate is over how disabled students need their phones to check their insulin or check in for safety reasons. “[The phone policy] limits me because if I can’t find my friends, I can’t text them. I’m not the most mobile person so, for me, it is difficult,” Isaiah Stable (12) said.

Faculty has loved the new implementation, associating the restriction of phones to changes in student behavior. “We wanted our kids to be on task and phones can definitely cause a distraction. I [also] like that students have to actually talk to each other and socialize because before the policy, everyone had their head down on their phones,” Dean Sylvester Edwards said.

Students like Justin Otero (12) like “how the no phone policy forces me to pay attention in class” but other students have difficulty with the years of online and hybrid learning due to COVID causing a lack of social skills. “If I’m by myself I don’t like making eye contact with strangers or random people. I need my phone because it’s hard going by the day when you’re socially awkward,” Allison Fox (12) said.

Although the staff desires more student engagement, there’s a lack of reteaching students how to cope with their new social anxiety caused by the pandemic and creating low stakes means for new interactions. “The goal is for the students to become more academically driven and more focused on their achievements here. [We want them] not so much on the phone and [learn] how to have relationships with each other.” Dean Danny Young said.

Administration has implied that if phone usage in classes and in the hallways is no longer a constant issue, they will allow students to start using their phones again during lunches. However, this is completely dependent on the student body’s ability to follow the new rule.