Cellphone Shutoff in DFMS!

DFMS students are no longer allowed to use their cell phones in the Commons during the school day.

DFMS students are no longer allowed to use their cell phones in the Commons during the school day.

Eleanor Walker

Starting in September, a new change  took effect in Dobbs Ferry Middle school: the cell phone policy. This new rule does not allow Dobbs Ferry Middle School students to use their phones during the school day.  “I felt students needed to be more mindful and phones distracted them,” said Dr Lisa Brady, Superintendent of the Dobbs Ferry School District. “I want Dobbs Ferry Middle School students to able to talk face to face.”

 The old policy allowed students to have phones on them and openly use them during lunch. The idea behind the policy change is that students were focusing too much on their phones. “There was a concern that phones caused students to be distracted. Even if it was not on them, having their phones in their pockets made students tempted to check on them,” said Ms. Dia Ducic, a language and literature teacher for the 6th and 7th grade. 

Some teachers feel this is a change for the better. “Since there is less pressure and distractions, I have seen a difference; a difference for the better,” remarked Ms. Rebecca Wing, the health teacher for both the Dobbs Ferry Middle and High Schools.

With all policy change comes an adjustment in which not everyone is satisfied.  “If there was an emergency, students might need to be able to call their family,” stated Nayva Seghal, a 7th grader at Dobbs Middle School. “It’s harder to plan stuff with other people, such as parents or friends, during the school day,” added Eve Bolger, an 8th grader at the middle school: “I have to wait at the end of the day to text my mom something.”

Lunch for DFMS students has been different, too. Since kids are not allowed on their phones, they interact much more with other kids at their lunch table. Talking face to face is a great way to improve other kids social skills.  “Not having their phones with them at lunch should help them connect with other students,” believes Mrs. Ducic. The policy may not only impact student’s grades, but their social skills as well.

There is also another unexpected upside to the policy. “Phones have not been lost or stolen,” reports Mrs. Stephanie Gonzalez, the French teacher at the Middle School. Since students don’t take their phones out during the school day, the chances of losing them are less.