The school and
cell phone debate
It's a question that is often up for debate. Parents, teachers and students all freely express their opinion on the matter, but what are the benefits and ramifications of kids having cell phones at school? Here are some of them.
- Parents and children are able to communicate easily throughout the day. Having a cell phone at school is a convenient way for parents to reach their child if after-school plans change or an emergency arises.
- Children can contact their parents whenever they need to. Perhaps the child is nervous about a field trip or has a question regarding their food allergy, but regardless of the reason, Mom or Dad is just a quick text or phone call away.
- Before and after school, safety is a concern for many parents and children. Having a cell phone on hand for emergencies such as bullying or any medical issues is both comforting and practical.
- Phones are a distraction from learning. Ring tones, alarms, texts, notifications, etc., all disrupt the class and distract the students from the task at hand.
- Texts and the internet can be used for cheating on exams.
- Phones with a built-in camera and video capability might compromise the privacy of fellow students and teachers.
- They put the teacher in the position of policing cell phone use instead of concentrating on their more important responsibilities.
- Parents can reach their child through the office at school in the event of an emergency, and students can make outgoing calls to their parents when needed, which virtually eliminates the need for carrying a cell phone during school hours.
- Cell phones may offer more opportunities for cyber bullying.
So what's the answer? There are more reasons to restrict or prohibit the use of cell phones during school hours than there are to allow them, and some schools are taking such measures, either through official policy or by designating it to the teacher's discretion. But the real answer seems to lie in compromise.
While a complete ban of cell phones may be impractical, specific rules could be put in place to keep all cell phones turned off and put away during school hours. This would still allow children and teens to be in the possession of a cell phone, but with strict regulations about using it. This may be a workable solution, but as a parent, if you have a concern regarding your child's school's policy on cell phone use, be sure to address it at the next parent council meeting, or contact the school's administration directly to express your opinion.