New cellphone policy enters LPS highschool system


Photo by Anika Keese

Lincoln Southwest started a new policy against cellphone use in all classrooms which began at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, Lincoln Southwest high school put a new cell phone policy into effect. Although the school had already had general cell phone plans varying between teachers and classes, this year the plan was more efficient and enforced school wide.

“All of our classrooms have cell phone caddies where students may put their phones as they enter the room,” John Matzen, Lincoln Southwest principal, said. “Other students choose to leave their phones in their locker or to keep them stored away in a backpack. If a phone is seen in class, the teacher gives one redirect for the student to put the phone in the caddy. If the student does not comply with that direction, a campus supervisor or administrator comes to the class to collect the phone for the remainder of the day. If the student refuses to give the phone to the campus supervisor or administrator, then they are escorted to the office.”

Although students and teachers were hesitant at first, the school has adapted well.

“At the classroom level, students and teachers have observed more conversation and engagement,” Matzen said. “As an administrative team, we feel it has contributed to less issues in our hallways and bathrooms, as students are not as readily able to communicate with one another during class.”

With the success of the plan at Southwest, a more structured cell phone plan is likely to spread to the rest of the district in the near future.

“I think Lincoln East and/or the district will come up with a common cell phone policy that will be implemented in all classrooms,” Casey Fries, Lincoln East principal, said. “This is something we will be working on throughout the school year. What that policy would look like is still being determined, but I am guessing there will be a lot of similarities to Southwest’s current policy.”

Although specific details have yet to be decided, it is likely new cell phone policies will be spreading to all high schools of LPS in the near future.