My Students Are Cadets In America’s Well-Regulated Militia

Laura D. Brown
3 min readMar 29, 2023

Dressed in sweats and Carhartt hoodies, they cling to their cell phones for dear life because these devices cost up to $1200 — cost prohibitive to such young people without steady income-- and their parents might strike them dead if these precious lifelines were lost, stolen, or damaged.

And, yes, these mini-computers disguised as phones are used for social currency, academic applications, and perpetual communication. My students' thumbs receive the first and most training as tools in the well-regulated militia. Their appendages must be on the ready, just in case.

When my students were asked to give up their cell phones at the introduction of the school’s new cell phone policy, the students let out a collective stubborn “No!” How could the teachers not understand? How could adults be so stupid? Don’t they know that these phones are their everything? No, my students will not put their phones in the purchased phone holders hung by the custodians in every classroom before school began in the fall. No, they will not comply with this edict that states no phone use in academic settings.

They will, however, compromise. They will store their phones in their backpacks, the luggage that all teenagers carry throughout their entire day like rucksacks. Of course, these backpacks must be worn in a certain fashion: low, near the butt so as not to look “derpy,” or nerdy. These adolescents live a dichotomy between academic success and getting a date to prom.