Teachers argue headphones should be allowed in classes

Seniors should have privilege to listen to music if they are being productive during work time

Editorial Board

When teachers are pulling Eagle’s Eye staffers aside to talk about a specific problem, you know something has to change.

Headphone use is prohibited when students are in the classroom even when students are individually working. If an administrator walks into a classroom and there are students using their headphones, whether they are working or not, the teacher will get in trouble. Multiple teachers have told us they wish they had the authority to decide if certain students can use headphones if it helps their productivity in the class by helping their concentration.

If you ask the student body, there is an almost unanimous response that headphones should be allowed in some form or another in the classroom. If you ask teachers, however, you can get vastly different answers. Depending on what teacher you ask you could get an outright veto on all headphones, or even a full go-ahead in an ideal world situation.

We certainly don’t speak for all teachers when we say this, and we aren’t going to call anyone out. However, each example is how actual teachers here at Akins feel. Some teachers say that if the student is doing individual work, then it shouldn’t matter whether students use earbuds or not. Others believe that students with ADD would be able to focus better if they wouldn’t get in trouble for using their headphones outside of lecture time.

For students with ADD or ADHD, it can be very difficult to work during the time given in class, because there is so much stimulus. Being able to use headphones mean being able to focus on the paper due at the end of the period, instead of Jennifer from the table over, and her most recent breakup. One student with ADHD said, “headphones can sometimes be the only thing that gives me the chance to actually focus in class, but when teachers tell me to take them out and say they ‘have no other choice’ and that ‘it’s just the rules.’ there is clearly a problem with the rule.”

A few even believe that students would participate more in class if they were given the opportunity to listen to their own music at some point. Certain teachers don’t much care if the rule changes or not, they just wish they had a little more say in the matter.

As a teacher, you have to pick your battles and some battles just aren’t worth fighting in the end. Constantly, telling each individual student to get off their phone and take out their headphones is a time-consuming process that takes away from instruction time, especially, if the teachers are prohibiting students from working productively during class.

Ultimately, teachers themselves should be able to decide whether or not students get to listen to music in their classrooms. However, we understand that giving teachers this authority has the opportunity to become a distraction if students start to take this privilege for granted and just use headphones as a way to ignore their teachers. So while our ultimate goal is for teachers to decide, we propose a sort of experiment to see if students can actually be professional with the use of their headphones.

Seniors are already given privileges such as off-campus lunches because they are the most mature, why not see if they can handle headphones? We at The Eagle’s Eye believe that the best place to start would be with seniors and the teachers who teach them. Since seniors should be more mature and about to go “into the real world” they should supposedly be mature enough to use their headphones as a tool of productivity.