Don’t Phone It In: Kyla Bursiek Interviews Students about Media Addiction

Kyla Bursiek, Staff Reporter

We wanted to do a phone article about how phones are addictive. We’ve been curious about their impact in school.


We asked several students how many teachers are the most strict about phones, and they came up with eight. Next, we made a long list of questions and narrowed it down to four that seemed the most important.


Our final four Questions were:

Why do you not allow phones in class?

How many phones do you take away daily?

How many kids do you think are addicted to their phones?

How do kids react without their phones?


Our first interview was with Kari Costello, the Catering and Living On Your Own teacher. We learned Costello doesn’t allow phones in class because they don’t help kids learn. She said she doesn’t take phones away and thinks about 50% of the kids are addicted to phones.


The next person we interviewed was Jeff Jones, one of the security guards. We asked him if he thought phones were a good idea in schools. He said “no” because phones are distracting to the teachers and the students. We asked him how many phones he takes away daily, and he said not that many, maybe three or four a day. Then we asked him how many kids he thinks are addicted to phones and he said 100%. Our last question was: how do kids react without them? He said they are nervous, they act out and they feel insecure.


After we were done with Jones we interviewed Judy Piekin. She is a speech therapist and talks to a lot of kids throughout the day. Piekin said phones are distracting because kids don’t communicate when they have their phones out. Piekin doesn’t take any phones away, she just asks the students to put them away.


Mike Jaramillo who teaches Visual Arts had a whole different approach to phones. He felt his students need phones to research pictures on the internet. Jaramillo believes 90% of kids at Fairview are addicted to phones. He also commented kids react “confused” without their phones.


Jordan Hissa said it is hard to learn with your phones out and it’s a distraction to the class. She thinks everyone who has a phone is addicted to them. Hissa doesn’t take away phones because she believes kids can control their own habits. The ILC is a kind place where respect is important.


We learned a lot from our interviews. We found out teachers were not as strict as we thought they were. Teachers were more concerned about kids education. The teachers had different opinions and most teachers think kids are addicted to them.


We felt we needed to do more research to better understand phone addiction. We watched a TED Talk, “Learning to Look Up Again – Controlling Your Smartphone Addiction” by Ross Sleight. We learned that people look down and don’t pay attention when they’re walking in the halls in schools and kids use their phones during dinner.


After doing these interviews we found every student uses their phones differently. We agree with the teachers who don’t allow cell phones in class. We think they are distracting. We also think our school would be a better learning environment if phones were not allowed in class.


Phone distractions do not only happen in school. Phones are becoming more tempting to  students in and outside schools and making us less sociable face to face. I learned that you need to be responsible.