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The student website of Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California
The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Strict Laws Make for Sneaky Students: LAUSD needs to revoke the cell phone ban

While LAUSD board members push for a complete cell phone ban in classrooms, students fight back, understanding the mass changes that will need to happen, in order for the ban to be effective.
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Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times
The new cell phone ban would force students to lock up phones in lockers at the start of the day, retrieving them back in the afternoon.

It’s every student’s worst nightmare: An approved cell phone ban in classrooms.

As of Tuesday, LAUSD has approved a ban on cell phones across Los Angeles, which would take effect as soon as January 2025. This means even rising seniors — like myself — will be affected. 

I believe the ban is not only ridiculous, but unrealistic. 

A student needs access to their phone to contact their parents in case of an emergency, or for daily communication. Phones also allow students to access information and valuable tools such as calculators, or school communication apps like Schoology and Remind.

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In our modern society, students need their phones, no matter how unhappy it makes the school board.

LAUSD’s current policy prohibits student cell phone use “on campus during normal school hours or school activities, excluding the students’ lunchtime or nutrition breaks.” The policy leaves it up to each school to decide if they want to adopt stricter policies.

But when you walk into any LAUSD school, you’ll see none of the rules LAUSD fought so hard to pass back in 2011 get followed anywhere across L.A. This time, the district is approving complete removal of cell phones from classrooms.

The school district and board members are all for cell phone free classes and schools, explaining the ban will lead to increased mental health, social interaction and overall performance.

Yet as an LAUSD student, I experience these classes and “cell-phone plagued zones” more than any board member. 

While these board members have a point — students are on their phones often and this can lead to many issues— the challenge when considering a full cell phone ban is that it’s never going to be possible.

Students are going to be on their phones during class, no matter how many signs the school district sends telling us it’s not allowed.

So, if LAUSD plans to tell students they can not be on their phones at all during the school day, and somehow figure out a way to strictly enforce it, students will still be on their phones, they’ll just learn how to not get caught.

Students will begin to sneak phones into their laps, into their textbooks or into restrooms, just to keep up to date with their fellow students, who are also sneaking their cell phones out all across campus. 

So, unless LAUSD is planning to search students as they enter classrooms, or force students to leave their phones in lockers that are closely monitored, the district has no chance of having phone free schools, no matter how many board members vote for it to happen.

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About the Contributor
Madison Thacker
Madison Thacker, Arts/Entertainment Editor
Madison Thacker is junior who's embarking on her first year in journalism. Her journey through the performing arts started at just 5 years old, and today, she's ever-present in the performing arts magnet at VNHS. Beyond the spotlight, Madison has dedicated over eight years to the Girl Scouts, earning both bronze and silver awards for her commitment. As high school nears its end, Madison's plans point to a UC education, where she plans to major in education and minor in child development, shaping young minds for a brighter future.
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