Assembly phone ban comes into effect

Alexandra So

The Upper School Deans announced a new cell phone policy regarding student cell phone use during assemblies following an increase in student distraction during a presentation by Director of Los Angeles County Museum of the Arts Michael Govan on March 20.
Students will be monitored for their cell phone use during future assemblies and cellular devices may be confiscated until the end of the day if faculty members observe student use.
“We have a responsibility to train students to be good hosts and good listeners,” Upper School Dean Jennifer Cardillo said. “As a new member of the community, I was really surprised that we were not more strict about cell phone use during gatherings.”
This announcement was formulated during a dean meeting regarding a series of recent gatherings where students were disengaged with speaker presentations and visibly used their cell phones during the presentation despite warnings not to.
The distractions brought on by device use started to have an impact on the effectiveness of speaker presentations and negatively affected guests’ thoughts about the school environment.
“It takes a lot of guts for people to stand up in front of other students and make an announcement or speak, and I think that looking at your cellphone while the assembly is going on would be disrespectful towards the person talking,” Prefect Kevin Chen ’19 said. “That being said, I believe that this policy would definitely be hard to enforce due to the sheer amount of students during assemblies.”
During a presentation from Govan, faculty noticed blatant cell phone use and the detrimental effect that it had on student engagement with Govan and his message to the school.
In his presentation, Govan spoke about transforming LACMA from a conventional museum to one that often put on unconventional exhibits, including “Levitated Mass.”
“I was fascinated with what he had to say, and I was a little disappointed that the behavior of the student body did not reflect either fascination, which it is okay not to be fascinated, or full respect for the speaker,” President Rick Commons said. “I wish that there had been a greater demonstration on the part of our full student body of respect for something that someone is presenting seriously.”