By Lucy Retterer, Staff Writer
On the first day of school, the students all came together as a community, read the handbook rules and signed a form stating that they would abide by the regulations for the course of the school year; However, one of the rules in the handbook is broken on a daily basis: the use of personal cellular devices during the school hours.
The student handbook allows students to keep their phones with them throughout the day, but they must be turned off and kept away unless specifically instructed to be taken out for use in a lesson. If a student is found using her phone during the hours of a school day, the result is “confiscation of such device.”
In an attempt to solve this problem, Dean for Student Life Melissa Whelan proposed a challenge: if the student body can complete an entire week of school without a single cell phone confiscated, they will all get ice cream. Since this has been proposed, at least one phone has been taken every day, and we are no closer as a community to fixing this major issue. For many students, it is infuriating that someone else is the reason they are not receiving ice cream.
“It’s embarrassing that we haven’t been able to pass this challenge,” student body president and senior Colleen Kelly said. Many students believe that a sure-fire way to pass the challenge would be to somehow publicly share the names of students who had their phones confiscated each day, possibly by posting their names on a community bulletin board.
“People wouldn’t want their name to be on the board, so they wouldn’t take out their phones,” freshman Scarlet Butters said. She reasoned that the possibility of someone having her friends be disappointed in her would be enough.
Sophomores Isabel Middleton and Cara Grabowski agree that these students should be known for their ignominy. “It would remind them to not do it again,” the girls pointed out. “It would be a healthy reminder.”
When students enroll in Trinity Hall each year, they agree with and promise to abide by the student handbook. Similar to agreeing to the dress code, students also promise to put away their cellular devices until the school day is over.
Sharing the names of the students who had their phones taken away will likely not only solve the problem but will also make us more accountable to each other as a community. Students will work together, motivate each other to follow the rules and grow as they remind each other of the community’s expectations. Hopefully, this system will not even be necessary for long as fewer and fewer students will use their phones during the school day. Publicly stating who had their phones confiscated will provide additional incentive for Trinity Hall students to fulfill their promise to the student handbook, but more importantly, to each other.