Should Students be Allowed to Use Their Phones at Lunch?

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Tom McKevitt, Dedicated Writer

At Westlake, lunch is the only official time and place where kids are allowed to use their cell phones. If there is an emergency, parents are told call the front office. If students are using their phones in class without permission from the teacher, they are likely to get in big trouble! But Westlake currently allows students to use their phones at lunch.  Is that a good idea and how do people feel about it?

Some research shows that there is a concern about how cell phones lead people to take themselves out of interactions and conversation.  These tiny little screens are known to make phone users ignore other people around them.  Knowing that lunch is one of the few times students can just hang out with each other during the school today, cell phones could be getting in the way of important interactions and conversations wtih peers.  In certain situations, students could even be using their cell phones at lunch to do some cyber-bullying.

On the other hand, using their phones at lunch is a chance for students to do whatever they like. They can watch funny videos, text their friends, and look at the news.  Students appreciate free time and they enjoy using their devices for fun, not just for school.

As you can see, there are different sides to this argument.  Let’s find out what students and teachers think. 

Do you use your phone at lunch?  Why or why not?

Elijah Munson, 6th grader: “No, I don’t. I don’t because the point of lunch is to burn energy and being on your phone does not do so. It’s also the only time of day to catch up with your friends and being on your phone wastes that time.”

Gabby Schwartz, 6th grader: “I do because sometimes I want to text my friends.”

Chris Orotelli, 7th grader: “I use my phone at lunch because it is a time killer.”

Paddy Waller, 8th grader: “Sometimes I use it a little, but not all of lunch because I want to talk to my friends ,too.”

Cassidy Silva, 8th grader: “It depends on what’s going on in my life – it’s fun to take pictures.”

Do you think that kids should be allowed to use their phones at lunch and why?

Elijah Munson, 6th grader: I don’t. Phones are distracting and cause people to not talk to people. Kids should not use their phones at lunch.”

Gabby Schwartz, 6th grader: “Yes. Kids should be able to text their friends at lunch if they aren’t sitting with them.”

Chris Orotelli, 7th grader: “I don’t because it affects kids learning in the next class.”

Sophia Salazar, 7th grader: “Kids should be able to use their phones at lunch because it’s the only time to use them.”

Paddy Waller, 8th grader: “It could go both ways.  On one hand, we don’t get to use phones all day and it’s nice to use them at lunch.  But at the same time, lunch is the time to socialize and not be on your phone.”

Cassidy Silva, 8th grader: “Yes – in case of a need to contact my parents.  It’s nice to know I have that freedom to choose if I want to use my phone or not.”

TEACHER OPINIONS – Should students be able to use their phones at lunch?

Ms. Ho, ELD Teacher: “I think it depends on what they are using it for. I don’t think they should if it replaces human interaction.”

Mr. Kappan, 6th grade Math Teacher : Yes, I do. I think it gives them a little bit of free time and that it is a good time in the school day for them to be on their phones.

FINAL THOUGHTS…

The results show, between the students and teachers I interviewed, that this is a pretty split decision. Some people think they should be allowed to use their phones while some don’t. They all gave good arguments. This answers my question on should kids be allowed to use their phones at lunch: We don’t really know!