by Bryan Leblanc
Throughout my tenure at Loyola High School, phones were disallowed, barring only the gravest of emergencies. If a phone appeared, even with the sole purpose of a quick time check, the wielder would be awarded a detention and the phone confiscated. It seemed anal, but now I see the reason for Loyola’s fears. Phones have taken over the classroom. What began as a quick game of solitaire or the infamous Javanoid (you may know it as Brick Breaker) has evolved into a full blown text epidemic. When you receive a message during class, reading said message is not a crime. Hell! Even sending a quick response mentioning that class is in progress is acceptable.
However, the line is crossed when texting becomes the main focus and the teacher is the distraction. In one of my classes, the girls are particularly bold about their texting. They sit together with their phones in plain sight, set to vibrate. The abrupt sound of the phone and the tremor sent through the table indicating an incoming text is beyond irritating. Having a phone on vibrate is NOT silent; sounds are created by vibrations. Nothing ruins one’s concentration like a tiny table earthquake every few minutes.
Canny students text under the table, preventing their own intellectual development with their dextrous distraction. That’s their choice. Unfortunately they disturb other students around them with the indiscrete clicking –of buttons, the constant rustling of reaching into their bags and pockets and, above all, the vibrations. Some are so rude that they actually talk on their phones in class. They crouch down behind their desk, and pretend that no one can hear them… Why do teachers put up with it? Phones should be banned in all classrooms, as in exams. No texting, no calling, no gaming, and no more technological distractions. Please turn OFF the phone, sit down, and shut up, I’m trying to learn here, just like they taught me at Loyola.