It’s almost impossible to find a public place where nobody is on their phone. At Mounds View, students seem to be using their phones constantly, even during class. Multiple studies have shown that unstructured use of smartphones has negative effects on students’ school performance.
According to a study by the London School of Economics, having a phone in school can cause a drop of up to six percent on test scores. Most students, however, rely on their phones for information, entertainment, and communication.
“I use technology all the time for classwork,” said Sarah Corcoran, 10. “It really helps me during and after class. I can get a deeper understanding.”
Although many students oppose the idea, at least one school in the Mounds View district is putting a phone ban into effect: Chippewa Middle School. On April 30, phones will be banned in all classes at Chippewa. If a teacher catches a student using their phone in class, it will be taken away.
“I feel really happy. Hopefully the WiFi will go faster,” said Claire Stellmack, an eighth grader at Chippewa.
Other students, however, aren’t as excited. “Most people in my school are not happy, because that means they can’t use their phones in class,” Stellmack said.
“I don’t think they should be banned. It really affects students in a negative way. I know I use my phone for notes and for emergencies,” said Corcoran.
"Oftentimes I find that when we teach children not to do something, when they become adults, they have a harder time actually using it in a responsible way," said Jose Luis Vilson in an interview for WBUR radio.
Phones are a widespread source of information and distractions. Even at the elementary level, phones are becoming more and more common. “They don’t use them in class, but I have caught my friend using her phone outside of class,” said Nicole Kurdyumov, 5. “They don’t play games, but one time someone decided to go on Snapchat.”
Victoria Kurdyumov, a freshman at Centennial High School, says that the situation is similar there. “[They use phones for] texting, SnapChat, YouTube playlists. Never for school, though.”
"I would say that 99% of students in my school have a smartphone," said Stellmack. Phones at school have become a way of life, but it's up to the student to decide how they're used.