Branford High School cracks down on cell phone use

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) – Students at Branford High School will now have to hand over their cell phones as they enter a classroom.

The new cell phone rules went into effect on Monday.

Students can still use them during study hall and lunch, but once they are in the classroom, they will no longer have access to their phones.

Branford High School senior Shanti Patel says her phone is a lifeline.

“I do everything on my phone,” says Patel.

Students say they communicate with friends and family throughout the day.

“I use my cell phone pretty much a lot. I love using my cell phone,” says Patel.

Branford High says they are trying to crack down on any potential distractions. This includes turning in devices like Air Pods or Apple Watches. The school says students will get them back when the class is over.

“You’ll just put your cell phone into the pocket and at the end of class when the bell rings, you pick it up,” says Branford senior Tyler Jarvis.

The new rule was first reported by the student newspaper last week. In a letter that went home to families, the school says, “Student cell phone use in class impacts our school goal of supporting a high level of instruction and experiences for all Branford High School students and maintaining a positive learning environment that is responsive and respectful of the needs of every student.”

The school says it is not an outright ban, students will be able to use their phones when they are not in the classroom.

“I feel like having our cell phones is another way we can learn. It is a wonderful resource if you have to Google or research something. The Chromebook blocks and filters out a lot of the stuff on the internet,” says Patel.

The first offense for those who try skirting the cell phone rule means a conversation between the student and teacher.

The punishments will increase in severity for those who are repeat offenders. The punishments will range from calling the student’s parents, to detention, to an in-school suspension.

“I feel a lot of kids aren’t necessarily happy with the cell phone rule. We like having our cellphones in class to communicate with our friends and express our ideas. But I do understand how the administration could see cell phones as a negative thing , causing a distraction in class when students are supposed to be focusing on the lesson,” says Jarvis.

The new cell phone rule will be in effect for the rest of the school year into next year.



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