The Student News Site of West Haven High School

The Rostrum

The Student News Site of West Haven High School

The Rostrum

The Student News Site of West Haven High School

The Rostrum

Table Talk: Conversations About the Cell-Phone Policy

Welcome to my new column, Table Talk! Every month I’m going to chat with various tables in the cafeteria to get their takes on recent hot topics. Since this is the first issue of Table Talk, I would like to tell you how I came up with this amazing idea. 

During my sophomore year I joined a journalism class because I enjoyed English and writing. As a freshman I wanted as many opportunities an ambitious fresh fish sandwich does. If only I knew how much writing a person could do. However, if I hadn’t made those choices I wouldn’t be here writing in the school’s newspaper! 

Anyway, over summer of ‘23 I was sitting on the couch talking to my sister, a good writer, about being excited to be able to go back to school just to talk  at the “TABLE.” It’s tradition for me and my friends to sit at the same table during breakfast and lunch time. We noticed we weren’t the only people who had this tradition. As we look around the cafeteria, we realized it was just like those corny high school movies where everyone has a “clique.” Since I was in a journalism class I thought, “Hey, this would be a good news column.” I give my friend Emily Hartshorn full credit for the name “Table Talk” and full props to her– it’s catchy and easy to remember. A perfect name. That is how Table Talk was born!

Disclaimer: all names were chosen by the tables members, or I was given permission to give their name.

This month’s question: What is your opinion on the new cell-phone policy?

First up is THE table, the best table (my table of friends):

The table had similar answers all agreeing it wasn’t too bad, we just missed doing silly little things like checking the time or revising are schedules for the billionth time or answering the question, “Wait what lunch do I have?” But it’s not anything too horrendous or life changing. Others at the table didn’t even care at all. “It doesn’t affect me,” a random red-head who isn’t Emily says. But there have to be people who care right?

The next table I interviewed is the theater table!

This table is against this new cell-phone policy. They all agree that it’s not the worst possible thing this school can do, but they still weren’t happy. This table gave really good reasons for being opposed to the policy. Some people need white sound or music to concentrate on their independent work. The normal atmosphere of a classroom can be overwhelming to some people, causing them to be distracted or the silence might be too loud for others, making them anxious. Listening to music is a good distraction that actually grounds them, helping them get that work done. People also need cell phones is for the bathroom. People ask to take a bathroom break is to obviously use the bathroom and take a break to check their phone and respond to texts or calls that may be urgent.  “What if I DIED or something!” Evelyn joked. In all seriousness, she wondered what would happen if you’re in the bathroom and have an emergency and you need to call someone either come help you or to bring you something. Most people think that going all the way back to your classroom (if you can…) and asking in front of everyone that you need to leave class for a hygiene product or because you’re sick would be embarrassing. Overall, this table thought it would just be useful if the cell-phone policy just wasn’t a thing.

The Maple Syrup Table

“I think it’s outrageous!!” said Abby Gonsalves. She and her table were very opposed even at the thought of this new policy. They immediately started giving their strong opinions. They thought it was atrocious that it affected everyone and not just the people who were actively disobeying their teachers by being on their phone. They also made a valid point that the policy shouldn’t be forced on teachers. They think that the teacher should have the right to decide what goes on in their classroom, and if they want to let students go on their phone they can let that happen. The last thing that stuck out from our chat was their thoughts on bringing your phone to the bathroom. They think it is absolutely insane that if you get seen with your phone in the bathroom you could get a day of in-school suspension that will be on your record permanently, for something as little as having your own property. 

The next table is the LGBT-cuties

The next table was a little shy and didn’t have much to say. All round they were against it and thought it was pointless. They thought it was stupid to have a policy that is useless because they think there are so many ways to get around it and they said no one really even listens to it. They made it clear that the policy is understandable but is aimless.



The Teacher table

The teachers did not have a biased opinion; they understood both sides of the argument. They were totally with students having their phones on their desks or on standby as long as it was on vibrate or mute. Because if it’s urgent it’s urgent but if someone is asked more then once to put their phone away then it should definitely get taken away. On the other hand students abuse their phone rights like watching a movie during a lesson or someone walking over and snapping a picture of someone’s paper to cheat. Like others, they didn’t agree with the fact that it affected the students who did not abuse their privileges and that are respectful. I really appreciated this table’s opinions because they didn’t make teachers look bad or evil, like how people suspect they are. They stayed neutral giving great reasons, with and against the cell phone policy.

Thank you for reading the first edition of Table Table!!

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