Opinion: Phones and headphones should be allowed in hallways

By Ryan Benzing, Staff Writer — Phones and headphones are not allowed in the hallway.

That is what students were repeatedly told during the first few weeks of school. They were told having phones out is distracting, and wearing earbuds or headphones might cause them to lose attention.

Students are warned by teachers to take out headphones and to put away phones, even in the hallways, and are given exceedingly strict punishment, such as ISS, if they are caught. But why is this such a big deal?

There are no issues with strict rules against phones in classroom, as instruction can be missed, and the learning process is disrupted, but the hallways are a different story. There are no lessons between classes, nor do the hallways give homework. So why do the same rules for phones that apply in the classroom also apply to the corridors?

Many students, in fact, have enough experience walking and texting to not be completely distracted by their phones, and the same goes for listening to music.

The hallways also provide the out-of-class time for students to check their phones, reply to their messages, and snapchat their friends. By removing this time, students are much more likely to do those tasks inside the classroom where, as said before, they can miss instruction.

What are the benefits? Possibly less phone usage in classrooms without removing phone usage entirely, and students can contact whomever they wish every hour and a half, and not disrupt the learning process.

Simply put, having your phone out or listening to music in the hallway is not as distracting as some may think, and there are actually some possible benefits. Is it really that unsafe to walk and text? It is not the same as driving, there aren’t any fatal accidents by a student colliding with another.

[Updated Aug. 19, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]