Students struggle under BSM phone rules


Brook Wenande

Sophomore Gabby Nyquist takes a brain break while working on math homework during her free hour in the cube.

Ceci Cronin, Staff Writer

Over the past year, social tensions feel as if they have been at an all time high, whether it be through relationships with loved ones, figures of authority, or social justice movements. The BSM phone rules can be just another dividing factor between two groups of people: teachers and students.

Teachers are given policies from the school and know that it is their duty to execute the rules they are given, whether that induces pushback from students or not. The BSM student handbook states, “Personal electronic devices such as, but not limited to, cell phones, tablets, and smart watches are to be powered off during the school day. Students using personal electronics without teacher permission during the school day will have them confiscated.”

Many students hold the mindset where even if their phones are taken away, it’s still not their fault. Teachers, however, do not agree. “It’s on the students…they need to be the ones to never take it out, and if they do take it out they have to ask permission,” attendance supervisor Ms. Kathy Jacobson said.

Some students are frustrated with BSM’s harsh phone policies, especially extreme punishments over using phones in a common space. “I’d say I’m completely fine with Benilde strictly regulating phone use… [but] I think that Benilde completely overextends their reach when taking people’s phones for a month when you’re literally just using your phone in the hallways,” sophomore Blue Wagoner said.

While students understand that phones in class can be a problem, some students would like to see changes to the policy. “If you get caught twice and lose it for a month that’s kind of a long time…I think you should be allowed to have your phone on in the locker rooms, lunchrooms, hallways and the gym,” junior Emerson Foley said.

Despite students wishing for phone freedom, the administration is firm with the rules stated in the handbook. “We follow what’s in the policy: no phones out 8-2:30 unless a student comes up to an adult and asks to use it,” Weingartz said.

Although the rules haven’t changed much over time, the consequences have. “I think what we’re doing is successful. It used to be that there was a fine and that did not work because the parents would just pay the fine and then it had no effect on the student. So I think what we’re doing now with the first, second, and third time there’s a consequence that really bothers the student,” Jacobsen said.

Teachers expect that the official phone policy––that phones are powered off from 8 AM to 2:30 PM––be followed by students during the school day. Nonetheless, many students reason that not having their phones puts them at a disadvantage. “I always have to text my mom…for rides and then I just don’t have anyone I can call until after school and then it may be hard for me to get rides. It’s really a communication issue,” freshman Violette Pruscini said.

According to the keeper of the phones herself, this communication issue has an easy fix. “All the students have to do is ask!” Jacobsen said.