Lax NYC school cell phone policies put burden on teachers, leave students confused

Lax NYC school cell phone policies put burden on teachers, leave students confused

On its face, the cell phone policy at Forest Hills High School seems clear: Phones cannot be used in school and must be turned off during the day, unless a teacher allows them as part of a lesson.

In practice, the picture is a lot more complicated.

Some teachers create their own rules, from zero-tolerance approaches like confiscation to more relaxed policies like allowing phones unless a class devolves into chaos, according to Stephan Menasche, a senior at the 3,400-student school in Queens.

The inconsistencies lead to students testing boundaries and giving into the irresistible pull of their phones to watch or create TikToks, text friends, or listen to music.

“There are classes where I’m not using my phone, and they’re interesting. It’s great because I don’t have to get distracted by the notifications or whatever,” Menasche said. “But sometimes the classes are really boring, and I would rather be on my phone.”

A high school student with short, dark and curly hair poses for a portrait outside with a tree and other people in the background.
Stephan Menasche, a senior at Forest Hills High School, poses for a portrait outside of his Queens school.

Forest Hills is one of hundreds of schools across New York City that instituted cell phone bans after the Education Department dropped the citywide prohibition in March 2015, a move that gave principals responsibility to create their own approaches. As Gov. Kathy Hochul mulls a statewide ban of cell phones in schools, the reality on the ground in New York City illustrates the complexities of such a large-scale effort.

Full article here:
CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education.
For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train:

TEACHERS (All Teacher Ed courses ONLINE): General and Special Ed Masters (Early Childhood or Childhood), Special Ed / Professional Certification Masters (pre k – 12)TESOL MastersSpecial Ed license extension courses, Bilingual license extension coursesTESOL license extension courses, Early Childhood license extension courses

COUNSELORSSchool Counseling MastersMental Health Counseling MastersAdvanced Certificate in Mental Health or School Counseling

ADMINISTRATORSSchool Building LeadershipSchool District LeadershipDoctorate for CSA members, Doctorate open to teachers, Doctorate open to school leaders

— in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk.

CITE PD and Parent Workshops: CITE offers CTLE-approved in-school or online professional development and parent workshops tailored to your school’s needs and your vision. We can work remotely with your staff and parents. Languages available: Spanish, Mandarin, Greek, Italian, English. Brochure (click here)