Behind Leyden’s Cell Phone Policy


It’s 2019, and the time has come for Leyden’s cell phone policy to change.

However, this decision was not executed in a couple of hours by one authority. In fact, before the cell phone policy was introduced, a committee made up of seniors Deisy Leon, Omar Montiel-Martinez, and myself, along with Dean of Students Mr. Dennis Byrne, Mr. Farrahadoon Durrani, Mrs. Sally Lakdawala, Ms. Maura Loftus, and West staff, met as a committee to make decisions.

The ultimate goal of the committee was to build upon the foundation in Digital Literacy and create a common set of responsible digital practices relating to cell phone use at East and West Leyden. Each meeting consisted of thorough conversations about what the policy would include and how students would react. As predicted, some students weren’t so fond of the policy, as it led to teachers being more vigilant when it came to cell phones in class.

Swetha Ramkumar, a senior from East, said “Some teachers don’t care whether you are on your phone or not, so the policy doesn’t appear to be required. Most students know how to act with a phone and be mature about it, and we shouldn’t have to settle for other people’s wrongdoings in classrooms.”

However, some, like freshman Sebastian Lorenzanz, believe it was a good addition to the new school year, as it “helps them learn and focus, not being distracted by their cellphone in class while a teacher is teaching.”

Before the cell phone policy, some teachers had their own cell phone rules. In fact, some teachers made their students put their cellphones in a phone holder on the wall and didn’t allow them access to it until the end of the period. However, there were many teachers who didn’t have phone rules, and students would go from class to class that had different phone regularities. The goal of the new phone policy was for it to be adopted by all teachers in the school so that each period had the same cell phone attitude as the other and there would be no unfairness. 

Although there are students who follow the new cell phone policy, there are also students who, unfortunately, don’t. Dean Byrne stated, “There are some students that will make poor decisions that lead to distractions from their education and if those actions distract themselves or others in the classroom there are consequences, just like there would be for any other disruption to the learning environment.”

The current cell phone violations and consequences stand as follows:

  1. Cell Phone Privileges revoked for a day and 4 detentions.
  2. Cell Phone Privileges revoked for a day and 1 BIC.
  3. Cell Phone Privileges revoked for a day and 2 BIC’s.
  4. Consequences will continue with Cell Phone Privileges being revoked, BICs, and In-School Suspension. At the end of the day, the goal is to help students understand that there is a time and a place for responsible use of a cell phone and during class or in some work environments it’s counterproductive and not appropriate.   

So when you’re walking into your next class, make sure to put your phone away, and don’t forget that when you cross the line its learning time!