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How We Help Students Manage Cell Phone Use

How We Help Students Manage Cell Phone Use
Peter Lenzini, Dean of Students

New policy begins fall of 2019 where cell phones will be stored in pouches during academic, spiritual, and communal times.

At De Smet Jesuit High School, we are seeking to help our young men navigate this changing world. We are committed to walking with them such that they can find God in this new digital age. This will inform curriculum and instruction, policy, programming, and the conversations that we have with our young men.

Cell phone misuse was one of the highest citations of misconduct for a De Smet Jesuit student during the 2018-2019 school year, largely because students pulled out phones at inopportune times during class or Mass. After careful review, we decided to update our cell phone policy in order to help remove the temptation and likelihood of distraction while still allowing students to use cell phones during appropriate times.

Policy Change
Beginning in the fall of 2019, all classrooms and study halls will be equipped with hanging cell phone pouches. When students enter an academic space during an academic time (class or study hall), students will be asked to deposit their cell phones in the pouches. Pouches will be hung near the front of the class, and teachers will be present to ensure the security of the devices. Upon the conclusion of academic time, students will be allowed to retrieve their phones.

On days in which we have masses or prayer services, we will protect our spiritual and communal time by asking students to leave their phones in their classrooms until the conclusion of the mass or prayer service.

Students are allowed to check their phones during passing periods, activity periods, and lunch. With time, practice, and reinforcement, our conversations in and out of the classrooms will help students to make healthy decisions about how and when to use their devices.