BY HALEY REEDY
Vincent Suber, the new principal of Wadsworth High School, implemented a new policy at the start of the 2021-2022 school year. According to Suber, the policy limits the use of cell phones during school hours to reduce cyberbullying, discourage cheating and restrict the misuse of technology.
“I understand you are a different generation and cell phones are part of your culture and part of your life and I’m not taking them away from you, you’re still able to use your cell phones,” Suber said. “We aren’t saying you can’t carry them, we’re saying carry them, just keep them away.”
Suber does not want cell phones to be used at lunch, in study halls or in the hallways. It is each teacher’s discretion to decide if cell phones are allowed to be used in class.
“There isn’t necessarily a need for the phone policy, it’s more of a caring concern,” Suber said. “It’s not that cell phones are banned. In areas where cell phones aren’t needed, they don’t need to be out.”
Conversations with students are something that Suber says he enjoys. He likes having the communication with students and hearing their feedback.
“A student came up to me and said ‘Mr. Suber, I get what you’re doing, I understand why you are doing it, but I don’t agree with how you are going about it’ and I said okay then let’s have a conversation about that,” Suber said.
Suber believes that students need their cell phones but he does not want them out during school hours.
There has been push back to the new rule by students, especially at lunches.
“I understand where it’s coming from but I still don’t understand why we can’t have our phones at lunch,” said Anthony Bennett, a sophomore.
Suber said that by the time students are actually able to get their lunches that they really only have 10 minutes to eat, and that time does not need to be spent on cell phones. That opens a bigger question as to why there is such a short amount of time to eat lunches, and students hope for possible adjustment to the lunch schedule.
“With the chromebooks we can monitor everything that you do on it, but with your phones we don’t have control over what you do on there, and the main thing that kids do on their phones that is bad is social media,” Suber said.
Some students say that they need their phone with them to contact their parents. However, Suber explained that the administration has apps on their phones that give phone numbers and email addresses of every student’s parents in the district in case of a real emergency where a student would need to contact a parent.
Students have voiced concerns over privacy and how some things do not need to be told to the principal, then to a teacher, then to the student when it could just be an exchange between a parent and a student.
Suber gets most of his information from various studies, one of which is a book that is titled The Boogieman Exists: And He’s In Your Child’s Back Pocket. Suber advises students to look into it and be understanding that the new policy comes from a caring place for students.