Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cell Phones at School

Our students use cell phones between every class at Trailer High.  They are walking a block between classes, and obviously-- it is impossible to control. 

But what about when the new school opens?  Administration is thinking of allowing cell phone usage between classes, but not in class or at lunch.   

Are we doing students a disservice by allowing cell phone usage during passing periods?  Many businesses will fire employees who use their cell phones on work time.  Hospitals don't allow them.  A local car dealership has banned them for their employees.  A teacher can't or shouldn't use their cell phone during the work day.  No service industry can allow them.  (Is it possible to wait on customers and talk or text at the same time?)  High school students on internships for a nearby school, often lose their internships due to having cell phones out on the job. 

It seems a bit silly to think that high school students would need to use their cell phone every 50 minutes or so.  How much important business are they conducting during the day?  Do parents need an hourly update?  Will they lose their boyfriend/girlfriend if they can't text them once an hour?  In the future it might be impossible for them to make it through a five or six hour shift without using their phone. 

Right now, students try to text during class, in the restrooms, and even during in-school suspensions.  The other day a cell phone went off in my class, and the girl blamed it on "butt dialing."  Her exact words.  *sigh*  Her cell phone was in her back pocket and when she moved it brought up her voice mail on speaker phone.  (You can double that sigh!)  Yeah, and she wasn't happy when I took the phone hostage for the remainder of the day.  It was a whopping two hours left, and her withdrawl shaking started almost immediately. 

Are we discouraging cell phone usage or making it acceptable in an environment that should be treated as a training ground for the work place? 

I have no answers-- just a lot of questions.  Feel free to chime in.


Alicen said...

I think you're right - in that there is no way to control it right now when students are walking between classes.
But I don't think they should be allowed in the new school. Phones should stay in the lockers. If no one was allowed to have them then students wouldn't be texting each other and there would be less concern that they might miss something "very important"! I can't stand texting and I don't think it will be well tolerated in the real world so it should start now.

Debbie said...

Cell phones used properly is a good thing...But at school??? In my opinion, NO! First, it takes away from the attention and concentration of learning and studying. Secondly, if students are texting between classes they are not socializing with the actual people who are around them. If a parent has an emergency that requires the interuption of classes, they can do it the old fashioned way...contact the office. If it's not an emergency, the parent should wait until the end of the day when the student gets home to catch up on news. AND don't even get me started on texting and driving! But this is just my opinion. It's been many years since I was in school. Back then they didn't allow calculators in school so my views may be a little outdated. LOL!

Lisa said...

I am with you in that the students should be able to get through the day without their phones. I think the administration is just tired of fighting them. We still don't allow them during the school day at the middle school, but that isn't the case at the high school. But some teachers at the middle school have them bring their phones to class to use for stop watches or to answer questions by text. It amazes me how many middle school kids have phones. When I was on bus duty, one girl consistantly called someone at 3:17. I am thinking, "Is she calling her mom to tell her school is out once again at 3:15?" No answers. Sorry.

Gayle said...

The policy in all of the schools in our district is cell phones must be turned off for the entire school day. They can be turned on at dismissal. If a student is caught with a phone on during the day, it is taken until the end of the day. I think that is the right thing to do.

holybovine said...

Ah, the cell phone. Remember when we'd drive across town without a cell phone? OMG! Heck, I couldn't even call my best friend after school and talk about the boys because it was a long distance call. Now parents are getting cell phones for their elementary school-aged kids. When I think of the changes I've seen in my lifetime, the phone is at the top of the list.

Here at work I've posted a sign on the office door asking guests to respect our work environment and turn off their cell phones. We don't need the noise and interruption while we're trying to work. I also tell our student assistants that their cell phones are to be off or on vibrate in their bags when they are working here. However, it's difficult to enforce that when several of the full-time staff use their cell phones during the work day. My cell phone is on vibrate and in my purse while I'm working. My family knows to call my work phone if they need me.

Enough ranting. Here it is in a nutshell. No cell phones at work or school. And especially not in the bathroom!!!

Dandy said...

I can't think of a reason they would need it during school.

My niece can text while holding the phone under the table... she doesn't even have to look at what she is doing.

B. Meandering said...

Cell phones are banned once the bell rings for firs period. They must be locked in locker or in car. They cannot ermerge again until the end of the day bell rings.
We teachers are to take them away immediately.

1st offense--loss of the phone for the day and a visit to principle's office.

2nd offense: confiscated for the day and a parent must come pick it up and have a talk with the pinciple. Student gets an after school detention.

3rd offense: The cell phone is taken away for THIRTY DAYS! Student gets a one day Inschool Suspension.

The board approved all this and it's in the student handbooks. A form is sent home for the student and parent to sign stating they read the handbook.

When our student was killed last year, this policy saved her friends from being callously told by others who would have been alerted from parents, etc.

We teachers support this policy and cheating on tests is just one of the problems that has been decreased significantly. There are more.

Mary said...

I don't think the kids need to have them on during the day. With all the craziness going on in schools, I do think it's a good idea for them to have them; I know I would want my son to call me if there were an emergency at school.
At YS' school, if a student is caught using a cell at any time during the day, it is taken up and the parent has to retrieve it.
I like that policy.

lailani said...

Cell phones should not be allowed between class. I like that my child has his with him, just because of changes in schedules after school. But they know that if they are caught using them, they are taken up, and I do not rush to reclaim them. It was nice when construction cut through wires and students were moved to various locations, to know what was happening. But I do think school is training for the real world - for prioritizing, for self discipline, for understanding there are always rules, there are always consequences. Fight the allowance of use between classes. They will all survive - we did :)