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Abra Stalker
This is the Minga app’s logo, one that students will be familiarizing themselves with over the rest of the school year.

As we at the Seminole Times are sure you have heard by now, there are a number of new rules and regulations regarding the use of cell phones by students during school hours. In this article, we will cover the rules themselves as well as student opinions on them.


As per the new rules, during class time student cell phone use is completely prohibited with some exceptions. Students have likely noticed the signs proclaiming “Phone Use NOT ALLOWED” in their classrooms. These signs flip to show another side which conveys the opposite message, “Phone Use ALLOWED”. These signs leave cell phone use up to the teacher’s discretion. However, it is probably safe to say that these signs will remain on the former side the vast majority of the time.


Very notable with regard to student cell phone use is the implementation of the Minga app. The app is to be used by students whenever they wish to leave the classroom for any reason, whether it be to use the restroom, go to the office, or visit another classroom. Minga keeps track of the time a student takes outside of the classroom, with this feature certainly intended to give teachers a way to keep tabs on their pupils once they leave their sight and to cut down on students skipping their classes in places like the restroom or out in the courtyard.


These new rules regarding cell phones come along with a number of dramatic changes to school policies. At the time of writing this article, school clubs are indefinitely postponed due to new state policy; this policy will likely require parental permission for student participation at each meeting of school clubs. Additionally and perhaps more notably, school sponsored events such as football games will also likely soon require parental permission. These new policies all significantly replace the previously enjoyed autonomy of students with legally required parental oversight in nearly every school matter.


The new state policy affecting clubs has left many club officers and potential founders in a state of limbo until further notice. From Model UN to Mu Alpha Theta, every club on campus is grounded. I spoke to the president of the Technology Student Association (TSA), IB senior Pranav Eada, about the club postponement. “It’s definitely really odd, and a little disappointing that we aren’t able to get the ball rolling for our club this early. In previous years, we would be well on our way by now.” TSA is a very prominent club at Seminole, with its members usually working in teams and taking time to work together to develop their projects before their competition. “This is crucial time that we aren’t able to use,” said Eada. “I just hope we can get started as soon as possible.”


Another SHS student, Shawn Vazhappilly, an IB senior, stated that the new rules are a “big change,” one that he feels is a bit “excessive.” “Personally, I don’t see how feasible it is to need parental permission for every little thing at school, and I think it probably won’t be implemented in the way it was originally proposed.” Rachael Balajadia, another IB senior, agreed with Vazhappilly saying: “It really doesn’t make that much sense!” 


As these changes continue to take effect in our school community, it remains to be seen whether or not they will prove to be effective in balancing the need for order among the student body and the autonomy that adolescent students should have. Only time will tell whether these new rules will remain in place and actively be enforced, or if they will gradually fall by the wayside.

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