iPads banned at lunch

At both Lunches 1 and 2, iPads have been taken away except on Fridays. Monday through Thursday, students in these lunches may not use their iPad at the regular tables. They may only use it for homework at the special homework tables. They were taken away around a month ago when Dr. Buchwald stepped on the stage and made the surprising announcement at the lunches saying that students were no longer allowed to use their iPads at lunch because of how bad the grades were, but what everyone wants to know is why this would happen and how it relates to the iPad use at lunch.

First, change your perspective and look at things from a different angle. When you look around you see kids sucked into their iPads and not eating their lunch, then you see those kids grades drop and not focus in class. This is one of the main reasons why iPads were taken away at lunch. This is also what Dr. Buchwald sees when she looks in the lunchroom, besides the multiple reasons they were taken in the first place, it took time to make a decision like this. When the leadership staff group of VMSS met this topic would come up multiple times and finally they decided to try this out in lunches 1 and 2 and compare it to lunches 3 and 4. However, when they decide if they will give back this privilege or not will be decided by what students think and do about it.

Obviously, there are different viewpoints involved in this issue when you consider who was using their iPads for certain things. Dr. Buchwald addressed one aspect of this, saying, “We offer tables for people to do their homework at.” Many students didn’t know about this, needed to do their homework, and couldn’t. Students may want to sit by their friends while doing it, and by looking at the tables you can see that they would only be able only bring a limited amount and many people need to do their work. 

So why can’t the iPads be used by everyone at lunch if so many people need to do homework? “Some people were using their iPads for gaming and other things, while the iPads are for academic use only,” Buchwald said. Mr. Gallagher, an eighth-grade teacher and lunchroom supervisor, said, “I think it’s good that students can have face to face interactions. We don’t get enough of it in this day and age, and it’s essential.” That was the common theme among students and staff that were interviewed, that face to face interaction is absolutely critical in this technological age.

I think it’s good that students can have face to face interactions. We don’t get enough of it in this day and age, and it’s essential.”

— Mr. Gallagher

On the contrary, some students disliked the policy. Seventh grader Ava Newsom stated, “The policy is stupid, what are we even supposed to do?” Many students who enjoyed showing their friends their work or who needed to put something in their iPad during lunch cannot anymore without moving to one of the homework tables. This can also affect people who don’t have as many friends. They have nothing to do at lunch on top of having no one to talk to. The lunch administration team may say this would help them make more friends, but what if they are more introverted and only talk to a few people? Taking away a comfort and asset from them at an otherwise scary part of the school day could make them not enjoy school even more.

Then there are the people who weren’t affected. Many students didn’t use their iPads, however, they still have views about it. Seventh grader Ellie Stumbo said, “People should be able to use it if they need too.” Students that were interviewed spoke about how they use their iPads sometimes in conjunction to communicating to their friends, using it as something to talk about or putting a reminder on to do something after school or at home.

The views on this matter differ over the school, but we all know something that Mr. Bronson, one of the counselors at VMSS made very clear when interviewed. “Lunch is about communication between students and their peers and building a community within our school,” he said. That is something that most, if not all can agree upon at our school.