Schools Reconsidering Bans on Cell Phones

Almost everybody owns either one or two cell phones . This breakthrough technology has been a part of our lifestyle ever since it was first introduced in the market. There is no denying that there are many advantages cell phones can provide to users, as it helps a lot in making communication easy, connecting people around the globe, thus making things more convenient for us. However, let’s not forget that these advantages comes with certain disadvantages as well.

In schools, for instance, students are allowed to bring their cell phones provided that they won’t use it during class hours. But this rule is not being followed at all. Study shows that over 70 percent of American high school students carry a cell phone. CommonSense Media discovered that they send nearly 440 text messages a week, a quarter of those — more than a hundred a week — during class hours.

Over 100 students were suspended at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven, Connecticut a month ago. It was reported that they weren’t troublemakers, or had never cheated and were never caught doing illegal stuff inside the restrooms… But they have cell phones.

According to Michelle Wade, a spokeswoman for the New Haven Public Schools, students had been reminded since September that cellphones and other portable gadgets weren’t allowed on school premises.

“It was getting just too disruptive to the learning process,” explained Wade.

Wilbur Cross High School’s absolute ban is at one extreme of an argument under way in schools across the country. Educators and administrators are struggling with whether their system of education as a teaching tool outmatches the interruptions they can lay out in the classroom.

“Cell phones aren’t going away,” said Brian Begley, principal of Millard North High School in Omaha, Neb., which abolished the ban for cellphones at the beginning of the school year in August.

Students are allowed to use their phones during lunch. What is more surprising is that teachers have the liberty to permit them in class, even while having lectures or discussions.

By focusing “less on the negative and more on the positive, we feel it can be a real plus for our kids,” said Aaron Bearinger, who teaches business at Millard North.

Students are just ignoring this ban. Cell phones have tormented teachers for so long, who have thorough research to support their objections that the this gadget is pulling their texting students’ attention and their potential to learn from the lessons.

According to information gathered by CommonSense Media, a nonprofit group that studies children’s use of technology, this is the reason why 69 percent of American high schools have banned their use or even possession on school grounds. Unfortunately, the policies don’t work.

However, the American Association of School Administrators itself contends the other side, boosting the use of cell phones in class as “genuine educational tools.”

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