(West Fargo, ND) -- A series of mock protests at Liberty Middle School has the potential to change phone policy for the school year.
Several dozen students are chanting for change outside the middle school after a recent rules change that banned the use of phones during school hours in most circumstances. The policy change bans students from using personal electronic devices, including phones, has drawn several criticisms from the students themselves.
"I was definitely bothered by it, "said Crosby, an 8th grader demonstrating outside the main entrance of the school," by the time I got my phone is that time, and I was like 'ah shucks.'"
The students participating in the protests are a part of Emily Stefonowicz's 8th grade social studies classes. Students in the class are learning about The Gilded Age; a time in America's history known for political corruption, the popularity of unions, introduction of child labor laws, and other poor working conditions that were present at the time. Stefonowicz says this mock protest is one way the students can put what they've learned into action, and how people of the past were able to overcome the challenges.
"I wanted them to understand that they have a voice." said Stefonowicz. "Sit downs, walk-ins, marches, protests, are all a part of our core values. We have a right to assemble peacefully and I want them to feel like they have a say in school."
She says each of her four classes had the opportunity to choose what topic they wanted to protest on, and each class chose the newly enacted phone policy as their subject. Stefonowicz believes because of the unified action behind the four classes, school administration could pay attention to the protests.
"Because all four [classes] really want that change, I think it might be a possibility," said Stefonowicz.
Stefonowicz says the mock protests and other interactive ways of learning are not only unique ways for students to learn about the material, but also for them to become more engaged and involved in the coursework.