Effects of the New Cell Phone Policy at HWRHS


Alison Bouchard

Updated cellphone policy leads to cellphone free classrooms.

 The Regional changed its phone policy for the 2022-2023 school year. Students now leave their phone in a holder, where it remains until the class is over. 

In the spring of 2022, the school tested this system by having students put their phones in the front of the class for a day to see if it helped students focus and engage in their classes. 

New cellphone holders that can be found in each classroom at the high school. (Alison Bouchard)

Principal Bryan Menegoni said, “Based on what I observed in class, kids would have out what they were supposed to have out, but a lot of times their cell phone would be hidden under their desks, and they would be playing a game, listening to music, getting messages from their friends and meeting up in the bathrooms and stuff like that, or even their parents texting them in the middle of class about stuff, so just really distracting.” 

There was a lot of pushback by students on the test day. However, Menegoni believes that “it helps reduce distraction in class because kids aren’t using their cell phones.” 

At the start of the 2022-2023 school year, teachers were braced for pushback again, but received very little. 

Mr. Satter said, “I don’t think it’s a bad idea for everyone to have it in the holder, even teachers, because I find myself and sometimes other teachers going to their phones, and that’s a habit that could help.”

Some students felt that having cell phone holders allowed for more efficiency and focus in the classroom.

“Having this policy just helps us stay more focused and more on top of our work,” said Maren Webster, a sophomore at Hamilton Wenham High School.

Not all students see this policy in a successful way, but as sophomore Bryann Desouza said, this policy may be causing kids to be “more sneaky or try to hide their phones from teachers.”

Other public high schools near The Regional have been implementing similar policies.

According to the Danvers High School handbook, they do not permit students “to use any electronic device during instructional time, except with the consent of the teacher.” 

Overall, the majority of HWRHS students and faculty don’t seem to mind the new policy.