Away for the Day: New Cell Phone Policy at WMS


Away For The Day hallway poster at WMS.

Clare Binder and Daphne Fisher

“Away for the day.” This is the new cell phone policy at West that you have probably heard about. It started being enforced at the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The policy was implemented because too many students were using their phones at restricted times. Students at West have mixed feelings about the new policy. 

Some students aren’t affected at all. But for others,  it has had a very big impact on their day at WMS. Tessa O’Donnell, a 7th-grade student at West, states, “It’s good for kids to unplug from their phones and not always be on them.” Tessa also goes on about how it helps students stay more focused on their school work. Vallyn Rowe-Porchia, another 7th grader at West explains, “ You were allowed to use your phone for one year of 6th grade for us, and like, the next year they take it away. They don’t even have really good reasons for it.” Vallyn is not in agreement with this new cell phone policy.

Who came up with this idea, you may ask? Well, Mrs. Kulczycki, our West Middle School Assistant Principal. She approached Mr. Smi

Poster in WMS hallway about the benefits of not having your phone at school.

ley, our principal, with the idea of the cell phone policy, and he knew she was onto something. She and the other assistant principals of the other four Plymouth-Canton Middle Schools worked together to establish this policy. All the principals agreed that they noticed students were using their phones when they were not supposed to. They knew they had to make a change. The “Away for the day” policy was established. not only in our district but nationwide. Mrs. Kulczycki pointed out, “I think that our students seem happier, they seem more focused on interacting with people who are in front of them, they seem less pressured about what’s being said about them or about social media stuff.” 

The nationwide policy “Away for the Day” requires students to keep the cell phone turned off and in their lockers from 8:04 am-2:59 pm. If a student gets caught using their phone for the 1st time, the rules are that the student must surrender the phone to a teacher. The student can get the phone back at the end of the day from the office.

The 2nd time students are caught with a phone, they must also surrender it to a teacher and get it back from the office at the end of the day, but they also have to serve lunch detention the next day.

If you get caught with a phone for the 3rd time, you have to have a meeting with the administration to create a personal electronics plan/contract.

These rules are posted around the school, on the classroom doors and walls of the hallway, so you can conveniently find them. Remember students, if you need to call home, go to the office to use their phone.