Schools today face many new challenges in dealing with the emergence of technology. With every new gadget invented, a new set of rules must be created to coincide with current school policy. A great new topic of debate centers on the usage of cell phones in a school setting. One side contends that because cell phones are always in tow, they should also be allowed for use in schools because of emergency calls. The other side stands firm in the forbiddance of cell phones in school due to the obvious distractions they provide. Cell phones should be banned from use inside of a school setting.
Only in the past decade have more American children been given a cell phone for personal use by their parents’. Prior to this recent trend, children were expected to be where their parents left them whether it was at school, swim practice, or a friend’s house. It is fair to say that most parents’s benefit from a “family plan” cell phone coverage and offer their children cell phones because they are available at little or no cost. Parent’s nowadays expect to contact their children by calling their cell phone at any time ensuring their child’s’ safety and whereabouts.
This new layer of protection is fine for personal use, but parent’s should trust the safety of a school setting and children should not be permitted to speak with anyone on a cell phone during school hours. The use of cell phones in school is distracting on many levels. Once at the high school level, children are very involved with their peers and staying in the know is often important. Cell phones create an instant portal for socialization whether it is through a conversation or a text message.
If cell phones were allowed for use in school, the contact from student to student would be constant and very distracting from the learning process. Limiting cell phone use to certain times of the day is impractical because children are prone to breaking rules and the temptation is too great. If a student or parent needs to contact one another in an emergency, then they should do so via the main office of the school as has been common practice for decades. Simple rules of cell phone etiquette are a nice idea in theory.
It would be great to publish a list of do’s and don’ts and have a repercussion for said offenses but it is too impractical. There is no governing body to establish parameters on free speech and certainly big cell phone providers would never instruct their customers in ways not to use their product. Although many people exercise poor cell phone etiquette, they often know the appropriate times and places of usage, but ignore the unspoken rules. Hopefully, as technology evolves, people will be ever more respectful to traditional expectations of social interactions.