Teachers v. Students: Leesville’s new Phone Pouches

The signal-blocking pouches have been adhesively attached to each and every Leesville Road High School desk. A pouch will be alloted to every Leesville student to provide everyone with equal learning benefits. (Photo Courtesy of Olivia Fontaine)

The unpermitted use of cellphones in high school classrooms has been a major problem since the day smartphones were released. Schools around the country have searched high and low for a reasonable and effective solution for this problem, but Leesville has recently implemented what administrators think just might work.

Service blocking cell phone pouches were purchased and distributed to every desk at Leesville. A thin, metal lining works to block any signal from reaching the phones, eliminating the threat of noisy notifications interrupting classes from learning. The pouches have been in effect for about two weeks– but how are Leesville students and staff reacting to them in action?

Teachers of Leesville are thrilled to have access to a working solution to cell phone usage in classrooms. Students are aware of the strict policy stating that cellular devices must be in their book bag or in the phone pouches, and if these simple instructions are not met, the student will be written up. The punishment in this case is very unavoidable–just put your phone away.

[The pouches] give the students a great reminder of what they’re here for… as teachers, it gives us a really great tool to say, okay, you can either put it in the pouch or put it in your book bag,” said Michael Tetreault, a Leesville Road math teacher.

Even in the short time that the pouches have been in use, teachers are noticing a visible difference in students’ attention towards learning in class. “[The pouches] were the first things the students noticed when they walked in… immediately they were doing their job,” said Tetreault.

Although teachers and administrators were looking forward to the implementation of cell phone pouches at Leesville, most Leesville students were anything but happy about the new additions. The service blocking aspect of the pouches is worrying some students, concerned that they could need service during an emergency or to contact parents. “My parents like to keep in contact with me. If anything were to happen, they wanna be able to contact me,” said Rachel Radlinski, a current Leesville junior. “I think that the pouch itself is effective, but the signal blocking is unnecessary.”

Another controversial discussion surrounding the phone pouch news was the amount of money that our administration decided to spend on this project. With the pouches costing $14.95 each and a pouch being attached to every desk at Leesville, the total for the purchase was well into the $9,000’s. Many Leesville students were against this use of school funding and thought that the money could have been put to other, more practical uses around the school.

Teachers countered this opinion, arguing that the phone pouches were a great use of school funds and a solution that was in dire need. “Something had to be done. It was either we fight for our student’s attention and fight for their learning, or we throw in the towel and let them fail,” said Tetreault.    

Both sides of the phone pouch debate are reasonable and understandable, but at the end of the day, the pouches are here to stay. The pouches were not purchased to punish or penalize students, but rather to motivate them to put the phone down and really focus on their education.

In the long run, the teachers and administrators of Leesville Road High School are looking out for our students and our educations. We should be thankful that our educators care that much about our success and futures.


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