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this week


By Connor

There are pretty strong opinions and differing sides to the debate as to whether or not cell phones should be allowed in schools. In one group there are students who feel their rights are being taken away when cell phones are not allowed in class. Then there are teachers who are sick of their classes being interrupted by kids talking and texting during class. There are also constant interruptions by ringing and beeping that teachers have to deal with. On another side still are parents who, while they want their children to be able to learn without interruption, worry about the safety issues that taking away a cell phone can cause.

Cell phones, despite being distracting during class time can be helpful for students if there is an emergency. During the Columbine shootings in 1999 students were able to use their cell phones to call for help. Some parents worry that if a similar event were to happen at their child ’s school and cell phones were not allowed, then students risk becoming injured and have no way to contact anybody outside the school. It was for this reason that when New York City banned cell phones in every school in the city it wasn’t only the students who were protesting but their parents as well.

So what about the teacher’s point? Teachers argue that they deserve to have the classroom a place to teach without constant interruption. Teachers also worry that cell phones can make it easier to cheat on a test by storing information inside the phone, by texting answers or by surfing the net for answers.

Then there’s a problem that affects everyone: the problem of cyber bullying. A lot of cell phones come with built-in cameras and this makes it easy to take a video or picture of someone and then post it on the internet; like what Susie did.

With all these problems and all the debate, it is the students who are most against the cell phone ban. There are definite reasons for this uproar, arguing their rights are being taken away. There is room for students to take responsibility on this issue and show the teachers that they can use cell phones while in school without being disruptive.

It seems there must be a way to compromise on this issue. If all parties can agree to use cell phones for the reason they were invented – convenience and for emergencies – then perhaps the student body and the administration can agree. Don’t use phones during class, use them only during breaks and turn them off in class. During tests, leave the cell phones at the front of the classroom. There has to be a way to find the middle ground and keep the basic rights in place while respecting the role of the school and the educational system. After all, school is supposed to teach us how to debate and problem solve.



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