Cell Phone Use in School

January 31, 2010
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The first day of school arrives, and students seem to buzz but not with excitement or nerves. Instead, cell phones vibrate and ring throughout the day as students constantly check text messages and incoming calls. The presence of this technology acts as a nuisance to both students and faculty when classrooms should place a focus on learning. Therefore, schools should prohibit cell phone use during academic hours.

Students often steal cell phones at school, which results in increased crime. Expensive phones like the Droid and the iPhone act as prime targets for thieves who want to possess the latest technology available. As a result, these valuables tempt children to resort to extremes such as stealing, because they feel as though their cell phones seem inadequate compared to today’s standards. In the July 2006 Issues & Controversies On File article, “Cellular Telephone Bans,” New York City Deputy Mayor Dennis Walcott says, “In New York City schools alone, nearly 700 phones were stolen during the 2005-06 academic year.” All parents want their children to stay safe. So why should students take their phones to school if it leads to crime? Good judgment shows that leaving cell phones at home during school hours remains the best solution to preventing these thefts.

Along with promoting thefts, cell phones also act as a distraction to other students and teachers during class time. The blaring ring tones and rippling vibrations make both teaching and learning difficult. Teachers try to prevent students from texting under desks and behind books, because students tend to pay more attention to their cell phones than lessons. Therefore, teachers struggle to maintain the attention of the students, which prevents children from reaching their maximum learning potential. In the December 2006 New York Times Upfront article, “Should cell phones be banned in schools?” former English teacher, Jessica Scaccia states, “A student with a cell phone is an uninterested student, one with a short attention span who cares more about socializing than education.” Receiving an education remains the main purpose of going to school. Should students use their phones in school to socialize instead? Children should get the opportunity to study without distractions, like antecedent children who managed to succeed without technology.

Above all, cell phones popularize cheating. With today’s technology, cell phones can now access the internet and take pictures and save notes containing information for tests and other school projects. Cheating also reveals short-term and long-term effects on students. Some short-term effects include receiving a zero on an assignment and failing to learn important material, while long-term effects include acquiring bad habits. The August 2006 Internet Week article, “Parents Send Kids Back To School With Cell Phones,” discusses parent viewpoints on cell phone issues. In the article, a survey from Ace*comm states, “Thirty-nine percent of parents who have boys are concerned about cheating on tests by text messaging or cell phone, compared with 31 percent of parents with girls.” So, if parents express growing concerns with the issue of cheating, why do they allow their children to take their cell phones, the root of the issue, to school? Parents want their children to display good morals, and cheating destroys this principal along with their sense of responsibility.

Despite these facts, some people stress the importance of cell phone use in school. Parents may assert that their children need to take their phones to school in case of an emergency. However, many schools offer their phones to students who need them. In the July 2006 Issues & Controversies On File article, “Cellular Telephone Bans,” Mike Keeney, a spokesman for Texas’ Aldine Independent School District, says, “Should an emergency arise and a student needs access to a phone, they can use a phone in the office of any of our schools.” Schools take responsibility for their students, and this undertaking includes the ability to handle emergencies effectively and guarantee safety. Therefore, parents and children can get in contact with each other via the school if an issue emerges.

Overall, schools should ban the use of cell phones during a time designated for learning. Cell phones use increases school crime, detracts from learning, and encourages cheating. In general, this technology seems more detrimental than beneficial to students and their education. Therefore, leave your cell phones at home before going to school and encourage others to do the same.

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This article has 16 comments. Post your own now!

mbrown *sweetstuff* said...
May 10, 2012 at 8:37 am
they are also allowed inmy school. long as if we have them turned off and not distracting others. But they can be used after school.
boobooshanka said...
May 3, 2012 at 11:48 am
datz very true!!! i agree with evryone. reply if u wnt!!!
swcricket98 said...
Jul. 2, 2011 at 10:53 pm
Cell phones are allowed if they are off. You can only use them during the periods between classes.
peace_love_beauty said...
Apr. 27, 2011 at 11:13 am
I agree with you. Our school has a strict no-phone pollicy. The first time you get caught with one, it's community service for you. Of course, the punishment used to be not quite as severe. But people continued to abuse the rule, so of course punishment was increased. People complain all the time at our school because we can't bring phones, but I disagree. I think cell phones would just cause too many problems and distractions and, as you said, crime. I mean, we've had phones stolen from school ... (more »)
BandGeek said...
Apr. 5, 2011 at 10:44 am
I completely agree with this, last year this girl I sat next to was often texting under the table in class and it was really annoying! Cell phones are allowed in my school, just as long as they're off.
soccer panda replied...
Feb. 7, 2013 at 7:09 am
i agree with bandGeek. i sat next to a boy who wouldnt stop texting.  
Harry Styles replied...
Feb. 7, 2013 at 1:21 pm
Phone’s should definitely be aloud at our school. I know you are probably going to say “NOOOOO” but can i just tell you why I think that we should be able to?(If so keep reading.) I honestly think that we should be able to use our phone’s at school because our phone’s can actually help us with our school work. Like take me for an example it could help me get my grades up like using it in reading/writing, because sometimes I don’t know the meaning of some of th... (more »)
taessinah said...
Feb. 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm
yeahh wehh aqree wiit the qiirl dat sahd wehh kan usee iit iin thee halwayy buht nott iin klass dats kool wiit uss.......
richgirl16 replied...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm
You are GHETTO. Time to learn propor english!
1greatness replied...
Jan. 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm
how ironic and foolish you misspelled proper, maybe you and the person you were criticizing should both learn proper english
yooo replied...
May 3, 2012 at 11:50 am
i agree with rich girl 16 and yea true
yooo replied...
May 3, 2012 at 11:50 am
i agree with rich girl 16 and yea true
yooo replied...
May 3, 2012 at 11:50 am
i agree with rich girl 16 and yea true
Janae88 said...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 10:18 am
Students are liable to use there cell phones in the hall but not in class.
saimne This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm
if the students are using the cellphone in order to divert their attention or cheat, they'll probably cheat or get distracted regardless. 
nalor04 replied...
Aug. 1, 2011 at 2:50 am
Cellphone is a distractive device that can only use in free time. That's cause everyone become lazy instead of doing more good things. Otherwise use cellphone in appropriate way... 
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