Over the past few weeks we have noticed a significant increase in the number of students that are wearing headphones, ear buds, and air pods. We are seeing these items while students walk to and from class, and in some instances, during class without the teacher’s permission. Air pods, for example, are being worn by students with long hair and out of view of the teacher. Students who are insisting on wearing hooded sweatshirts are doing so to hide the headphones. When asked, students often remove their air pods and headphones, but the next day – there they are again.
While I understand everyone has a favorite song, we have a responsibility to ensure that our students are engaged in the learning activities. Students are at school for six hours a day, and asking them to remove headphones, ear buds, and air pods during all classes and during all passing periods is a reasonable request.
As a reminder, students are permitted to wear headphones, air pods, and ear buds before school, during lunch inside the cafeteria, and after school. Students are not permitted to wear air pods, headphones, or ear buds during passing periods and during class time. Teachers have permission to make exemptions, within the walls of their classroom, if their specific lesson requires the use of listening devices. In addition, some students are sensitive to loud noises and their individual education plans require the use of headphones. These students are exempt from this policy.
In the event a student is wearing headphones, air pods, or earbuds during the above mentioned inappropriate times, the teacher will confiscate the item and place the item in a secure envelope with the student’s name. The item will be taken by an adult to the Student Success Office and a parent or guardian will have to come to Mannion Middle School to claim the item. The item will not be returned to the student.
Upon reading this letter, I hope that all parents have a serious conversation with their children about headphones, ear buds, and air pods. While these items have a place in our society, I think we can agree that school is not one of them. They are negatively impacting student learning.
If you have any questions, please join me at our next Parent Community Partnership Meeting on February 27, 2020. We will meet at 5:30 PM in the Mannion Library. I look forward to continuing our conversation with how to best meet the needs of our school community.
Todd C. Petersen, Principal