Cell Phones in School

It seems like 15 years ago teachers only had to worry about Zack Morris from Saved By the Bell talking on his huge cell phone in class. As it becomes more acceptable for teens and tweens to own cell phones, schools are finding it more challenging to keep calls and, especially, text messaging under control.

There is the obvious disruptive nature of phones, but there are much bigger issues as well. Cheating has become a reality as children now have the ability to text answers to fellow students.

Obviously schools must employ their own rules regarding cell-phone use. In New York City, the city council passed a law stating that students could not have phones at school, although they are allowed to bring them to school. Needless to say, the law caused some confusion.

There are arguments for allowing children to have phones at school. In the wake of tragedies like Columbine and 9/11, even parents are troubled by the idea of not being able to reach their children during an emergency. But even a parent’s peace of mind could create potential problems.
Kenneth Trump, president of National School Safety and Security Services, told CNN recently that hundreds of kids with cell phones could “increase the spread of rumors about the situation, expedite parental traffic at a scene that needs to be controlled and accelerate the overload of cell-phone systems in the area.”

If your child will be taking a cell phone to school, be sure that both of you know and can abide with the rules. Some teachers confiscate cell phones that ring in class, while other campuses require phones to stay in a backpack or locker until after school—or ban them altogether.

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