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Cell Phones In School - Should They Be Allowed?

Aug 8, 2008
When cell phones first became popular, school administrators banned them from school premises due to the connection between these devices and illegal drug activity. Due to school shootings and the events of 9/11, the question has arisen again as to whether cell phones should be allowed in the academic environment.

Many parents argue that the devices should be allowed if such an emergency occurs. They feel safer knowing that their children are just a phone call away. These adults also point out the fact that one of the reasons that their children have these phones is to enable them to have the ability to call home for a ride after school activities.

School administrators on the other hand argue that cell phones are more of a convenience than a necessity and that these devices have no place in the school environment. These officials point out that the use of these phones are disruptive in the classroom due to students receiving and answering calls and text messages when they should be paying attention to the teacher.

Text messaging also creates problems by being a means in which students can gossip about other children without the worry of being overheard. "Text messaging bullying" has also become an issue between school officials and cell phone users.

Thanks to another feature that is now available on cell phones, these devices are now barred from locker rooms due to the fact that some inappropriate pictures were secretly taken and posted on the Internet within the hour.

Another worry that many experts have about the widespread use of cell phones among children is the fact that these youngsters may be losing basic communication skills. By talking on the phone or text messaging their friends, these children are not taking the opportunity to speak to other youngsters when standing in the lunch line or hanging out in the hall. The ability to conduct face-to-face communication is found to be seriously lacking in the students that are cell phone users.

A compromise has been reached in many school districts. In these areas, the students are allowed to have cell phones as long as they are shut off during school hours. This agreement allows for the teachers to have a disruptive-free class room while the students still have the ability to call home during after-school activities. Administrators also suggest that students have prepaid cell phone plans that limit the number of text messages that the child is allowed to send. These officials point out that if a student is only allowed three text messages daily, they are more likely to use them wisely instead of as a means to gossip or bully.

In the case of a school shooting or other type of emergency, students using cell phones can overload service lines and can also cause radio interference with the equipment that is used by the police and other emergency response workers. Cell phone usage may interfere with evacuation procedures as well. A child who is talking on a phone may miss important instructions that are being given to them by the school officials. In case of an emergency, it is considered best if the school employees make any necessary calls while the students carefully follow any directions that are given to them.

Overall, the use of cell phones by students is fine if this use is limited to the proper times and places. Otherwise, these devices are not a necessity in most academic environments.
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