Cell phones have become the main source of communication among teens.  When used correctly they have such positive power behind them but there's a dark side to using them in schools.

ONE PARENT'S ON THE FENCE THOUGHTS

Angel here and as a parent myself I have to say it is convenient to be able to get in touch with my son while he is in school or at least knowing if something happened there is a possibility I might hear from him.  Having that direct line of communication eases this momma's, anxious heart.  However, the other side of the coin is knowing that he could be on it for a million other reasons that have nothing to do with talking to me only in an emergency situation.  This is where the problem comes in.  I think initially most parents wanted their children to have a cell phone when school shootings became more of a reality and not just a what-if.  Parents wanted to know that if their child was in trouble they could at least get in touch with them.

I know I'm not supposed to be messaging him or vice versa and I don't unless I know he's in lunch or a class where he is a teacher's helper.  I do understand and respect the fact that teachers have a job to do and that comes first.

Here are a few other parents who like the idea of their children having their phone

DCPS does a great job on keeping parents in the know and communicating.  I do think they are needed for activities that do not exist in the classroom that are school related.

-Mary Hays Mattingly

 

I’m going against everyone. I love that my kids have them with them at all times. It helps them and me with a sense of security. By all means, if a child is acting up in class, take it away. But don’t blame them all for the actions of a few.

-Tara Murphy Calvert

 

PARENTS & TEACHERS WEIGH IN ON THE PROS & CONS

As a former teacher, I can tell you having been in the classroom before the age of cell phones and working in classrooms after they arrived it is like night and day.  It would be amazing if students could practice restraint and keep their phones out of sight until the given times during the day when they were allowed.  Unfortunately, this isn't the case in most situations.  I recently had a conversation with a teacher who had a student that was failing their class.  They called the student in to explain to them the reason they were failing was that they couldn't stay off their phone.  This student then proceeded to belittle the teacher and curse their name.  Nothing was done to the student for the behavior sending a message of zero accountability in the classroom to support our teachers.  This could have been prevented if there was a better policy for cell phone use.

If there is a policy the schools should be reinforcing it to protect the teachers and allow them to do their jobs.  If a teacher is having to constantly be the cell phone police they aren't able to provide adequate instruction to the students in their classroom.

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We asked several parents and teachers their thoughts and here is what they had to say;

Turned off and in the backpacks is fine especially if the kids stay after school for activities. In the classroom - absolutely not. They are nothing but a distraction.-Samantha Tooley

 

I let my oldest take his phone however it stays locked while he’s at school. the family app I have on it I can control what he does. So The only thing he can do with it during school hours would be make a phone call, which if there was an emergency he would be able to do that. Other than that he can’t text or play with apps. My kid needs to be paying attention in class not worried about his phone

-Kaylyn Jackson

 

As an employee of a school they do nothing but cause mass chaos. Kids texting and calling home for a belly ache instead of going to the nurse. Lots of unexcused absences due to it. Also tik toks are being made in the halls and bathrooms instead of going to class. Videoing fights in the halls and bathrooms. SO MUCH DRAMA-Brandi Johnson

 

I like going into the classrooms where teachers have the students check them in an assigned pocket hanging on the wall/door (on silent or turned completely off). The teacher and students can see where they are, while helping students stay on task.-Angie Padgett

 

I was observing at the middle school earlier this week & was shocked at the lack of rules surrounding cellphones in the classroom. It sure has changed since I was in school. In fact, I once had a teacher snatch my flip phone out of my hand in 5th grade so fast it made my head spin. She proceeded to store it in her bra & said she’d only return it to my mother. I told her she could keep it!-Joseph Hunt

 

Without exception, students who are failing my class have repeatedly been in trouble for their cellphone. I wish they were banned in all schools. All classrooms have landline phones. There is zero educational reasons for a child to have one.-Lori Coghill Thurman

 

No reason for them to be out in sight. I 100% learned more in classrooms that had strict phone policies compared to classrooms that had little to none.-Caitlin Aull

 

In this mom's opinion if we had more respectful students who followed the rules and kept their phones in their backpacks or lockers during those times when they are not allowed to use them this may not be an issue.  On the other side of that if educators and school officials ACROSS the board had a consistent way of handling the issue and kept kids accountable instead of slapping them on the wrist or turning a blind eye we could shut down the drama.

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