Caddies Cause Controversy at CHS


Nathan Weick, Staff Writer

2019-2020 school year comes to a close, controversy still surrounds the new “Phone Caddies” and their role in CHS classrooms. Students and teachers continue to reflect upon the true effect of the phone caddies since their introduction in the beginning of the school year.
The controversy comes into play as the students are required to place their phone in an assigned slot in the phone caddy within their first few steps of entering the classroom. The rule itself enforces a teacher detention for the first offense, 1-3 detentions for the second offense – determined by the severity of the offense – and a Wednesday School detention for the third offense. According to the student handbook, the offense is considered a “phone infraction”.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous. As highschoolers, and as young adults, I thought we could handle ourselves with our phones,” argued sophomore Michael Murrin.

Students are not allowed to touch their phones during class, unless it is for class use. Upon first hearing this news at the beginning of the school year, students quickly developed strong opinions about the phone caddies. Students like Michael continue to exclaim about how unfair they believe phone caddies are.

However, many teachers shared that the caddies have helped create a positive learning environment, conducive to student engagement. By eliminating the distraction, teachers feel as if students can more readily engage with material – an experience that was often a battle when phones were in the students’ possession.

“I think students are paying more attention to the lesson, and not to who may be texting them in class,” Mrs. Laskowski explained. “Now, students are prepared, engaged, and focused. Before, there was a lot of interference and distraction.”

There is a fine line between teachers’ and students’ opinions on the phone caddies. Teachers are all for the phone-holding caskets, as they were voted for on a teacher’s survey. At the end of last school year, teachers were polled concerning several school rules and regulations, including whether there should be a uniform phone caddy system. An overwhelming majority of teachers shared that phones were a problem, and over two-thirds of the staff voted in favor of a phone-storage system.

On the other hand, students still struggle to understand the necessity of the phone caddies in the classroom.

“It was pointless. I’ve never struggled with attention because of my phone. There are times when phone use is rational, like if someone texts you, but most of the time it’s just a glance down and a glance back up,” Senior Michael Smith shared. “So it’s not taking so much time away where it is inconveniencing the teacher or interfering with my learning.”

From freshmen to seniors, the students as a society have collectively gone against the phone caddy. From what it seems, the majority of students claim to not use their devices unnecessarily during school, but teachers across the school claim that it is helping with their teaching. For some, like Mrs. Laskowski, the caddies are helping tremendously in class, compared to others.

An even more controversial argument lies in a significant percentage of classrooms where teachers are not using the phone caddy. Most students, without a doubt, agree with those teachers, and simply let the class go with the flow. In a majority of schedules, students have to remember which classes require use of the phone caddy, and which classes let it slide. In a survey shared with students, 55% of students shared that only a few of their teachers use the phone caddies, while only 7% of students believed they were effective.

“Teachers have done fine in past years with regulating it, and if students use their phones and don’t pay attention, they suffer the consequences themselves,” Smith explained.

The overall reaction from the student body was first surprise, and then frustration, with many failing to see why the phone holder was necessary. Students’ minds are strictly set to this opinion, but they do not consider the teachers’ perspective.