Should teachers have the right to collect phones?

Brayana Cacho, Writer

Last year, teachers were not very strict about the phone policy: you could have your phone, but it must be put away or face down on your desk. This year, there are more than a few teachers who refuse to let students keep phones in their bags.

There was no given explanation as to why some staff asked students to place their phones in a box or cubby early this year – we as students were simply expected to do so.

While there is nothing wrong with teachers wanting us to stay off of our phones, there can be a lot of things – urgent things – missed due to this policy.

Sure, this may be a certain way to help students stay focused – but at the same time, someone may have a family emergency. There would be no way of knowing, until soon after class when given some news missed due to a teacher making sure they were paying attention to a lesson they may not even remember by the time of the exam.

If there is a test, it is understandable to have phones collected.

But when it is a normal class day, what reason is there to ask for a student’s phone as soon as they step through the door?

Normally, though, students and their family members do not call one another during school/work hours unless there is an urgent or time sensitive event – this could include a death, a birth, or a rush to the hospital – regardless of the situation, if I get a call from my mother in the middle of class, I am going to answer it.

That certainly does not make me a “disrespectful” student.

If my phone is entirely out of reach, I am not supposed to approach it. How am I supposed to know who could be calling? It could be a scammer – or it could be a call informing me that a loved one has passed away.

It could be my parents informing me that someone is in the emergency room, yet I would have no idea of this until dismissed from class to see that I have multiple missed calls and unread text messages.

It could be anything.

Some may be upset due to the fact that they can not see their snapchat notifications, which I agree isn’t as important as a lesson in class, but some students can have very legitimate reasons as to why they want their phone during class.

This is not meant to be rude, it is simply a form of reassurance when concerning the safety of those we love.