Cell Phones Impacting Academic Success

Journie Holden

It’s not only a new year but in a week also a new semester. As the school year progresses we often fall into bad habits. One of the bad habits Kenwood and BCPS was trying to help students break this year was letting themselves get distracted and neglect their academics with their cell phones.

At the beginning of the school year, Kenwood introduced a new cell phone policy for students for the 22-23 school year. This policy restricts students from using their phones during class unless a teacher authorizes them to do so. The purpose of this new policy was to make a positive change in students’ academics. With this came much controversy with the majority of students being against the policy and majority of teachers being in support of the policy.

In the past school years since the pandemic, students’ grades as a whole have been lower than usual. It is apparent that the pandemic has taken a toll on students’ academic experience and has been an academic barrier but the Board of BCPS also thinks that the use of cellphones is creating a decline in academics.

As a result, here at Kenwood High School the new cell phone in an envelope rule became the way to enforce students time on their phones in class. Some teachers give “brain breaks” which are 2-5 minutes long and allow students to take a break from school work and use their phone.

Teachers feel this enforcement was necessary. Mr. Lyon shares, “Because cell phones have been a major distraction, kids weren’t learning as fast as they should have, and grades were suffering.” He then continues to say, “Adults should always consider the students’ perspective but students sometimes don’t see where their decisions can affect how they’re learning.” In the first half of the year, Mr. Lyon felt like he’s seeing a difference. “More work is being turned in, and the quality of work is better than last couple years.”

To no surprise though students had a different perspective. Students are skeptical the policy will make a difference. Junior Tyquan B thinks, “People are still going to be on their phone regardless”.

The majority of research agrees with BCPS that cell phones are a distraction for students and they impair student learning. An article from Family Education says, “As seen in the popular 2020 Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, young people and even adults experience an addictive need to check their cell phones and notifications whenever the phone is available.” This is relevant to the push to hide phones out of sight in the envelopes, supporting the claim that cell phones are a distraction and can be addicting.

As we begin a new year often a time to set new goals for better results, consider how your time spent on your phone is possibly impacting your academics. As a result of the new policy did you spend less time on your phone first semester and see improved academic results or did you ignore the policy and how do you think that impacted your first semester academic results?



Nulsen, Charise. “Cell Phones at School: Should They Be Allowed?”. Familyeducation. Updated April 21, 2022. Web accessed 15 September 2022.