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.