Should mobile phones be banned in schools?

Ann - posted on 05/15/2012 ( 46 moms have responded )

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Just watched an article on the tv on mobile phones in schools. I so think they should be banned. There is no excuse to have one in school and if a parent needs to contact their child it can be done through the school.

If it is necessary for the child to have one, then it should be handed in at the office in the morning and picked up at home time.

Mobile phones just resort to students using them as cameras for inappropriate situations, accessing the internet and Facebook and generally not concentrating in the classroom. Not to mention cyber bullying.

What are other parents thoughts?

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Janice - posted on 05/15/2012

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Personally, I think a parent paying for their teenagers phone to have internet access is ridiculous. My hubby and I don't even have that service on our phones. Unless you need it for your job its such a waste of money IMO.

Felicia - posted on 05/17/2012

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As a teacher I think they should be banned. It is such an unnecessary distraction.

Fay - posted on 05/16/2012

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Yes i think they should be banned why do they need a phone at school??? we were not allowed to bring calculators to school for fear of cheating at lessons so why let them bring a phone...

Stifler's - posted on 05/16/2012

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I think they should be banned. Even though that's hard to enforce. If you genuinely need one then bring a note.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/16/2012

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Oh, Jodi, you are SO right!

Actually, until I realized that payphones don't exist (not even in the schools), I was all for the "NO CELL PHONES until you can pay for them rule" Mainly because, at the time, I was working at the HS, it was standardized testing time, and we had one young lady get pissed because her teacher had confiscated her phone because she was using it during the test! Can you say academic dishonesty? I thought so...LOL...so did the teacher, and the administrator...and pretty much everyone ELSE at the school, except her brother and her parents who came in and lectured us on her "right" to have a cell phone out in class.

I told that parent "Your student has the RIGHT to an education. The RIGHT to be fed nutritiously while at school, and the RIGHT to protest treatment she deems unfair. She does NOT, however, have the RIGHT to cheat on an exam. It clearly states in the handbook (showing him the page/paragraph) that cell phone use in class is prohibited. Therefore, your daughter was in violation of school rules, and the cell phone is forfeit".

THOSE are the ones...Those are the parents/kids that I am trying not to be ;-)

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Jodi - posted on 05/26/2012

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The thing is, 50-60 years ago, we didn't have calculators for our children, so they had no choice but to learn their maths manually. As time has progressed, calculators have become more sophisticated, and our kids are now capable of learning MORE math as a result of them. Why do you think scientific breakthroughs are happening at breakneck pace these days? Computers, calculators, etc, and yet you want our students to stop using them and go back to the old ways. Well, the fact is, with phones, calculators, computers, we CAN'T go back to the old ways. These things are real. I see so much resistance to them, rather than finding ways to embrace them constructively. Calculators are absolutely harmless as long as the child has mastered basic math first. Phones don't NEED to be banned, we just need to teach our children etiquette. In fact, occasionally, I have found the kids' phones useful in my classroom. Some even put their music on while doing their work - for some learners, they work better that way. I just think people are looking at it all wrong.

Stifler's - posted on 05/26/2012

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And seriously? Are scientists and bankers and accountants sitting there doing the math in their heads or showing working out? no. We were allowed to use calculators at uni.

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2012

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Well, by the time they have calculators in classrooms, they should already know the basic math. So what is the harm in letting them use it for the more complex equations. It makes it much quicker to get through the work so they can learn how to use even more formulas.

Jennifer - posted on 05/26/2012

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Just a PS to my previous post regarding calculators. What is the point of trying to teach math if children are bringing in a calculator? If they don't learn maths "from the board" what will happen if they ever find themselves in a situation where they don't have a calculator and have to find the answer to a mathematical problem. When we were young we were forced to learn all math, from a teacher inclusing all forms of algebra. Thank goodness we did.

Jennifer - posted on 05/26/2012

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Totally agree. There is ab solutely no reason to have a mobile phone at school. I am of the "older" generation and we managed perfectly alright without them then . As you say, a parent can contact the school if there is an emergency and cyber bullying is a real threat.

Stifler's - posted on 05/23/2012

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I'm not sure why we had it but I'm sure we had just those little basic ones with 10 numbers and plus minus times and divide and % buttons by year 4 maybe year 5 when you start doing percentages or something you need one.

Jodi - posted on 05/23/2012

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Not in my experience here. My son didn't get a calculator until Year 7 (first year of High School here). It was never on the school list until then, and by that time, they have generally mastered the basics (as in their 12 times tables, principles of addition, subtraction, division, including long division and multiplication, etc).

Grade 1? That's fucked up. But I do fail to see how that is the child's fault. I'd be questioning my education system. I will admit my 7 year old sits here with a calculator for fun - playing shops, and things like that, but for homework? No way. Why would you?

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/23/2012

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Ah but they are asking for kids in grade 1 to have calculators now....big difference from grade 8, wouldn't you think?



ETA:

Grade 7 and up, it is reasonable to have calculators for certain maths, just not for basic math. Basic math, is what I was refering to and they are letting the kids use them for that. My daughter took longer to learn her times tables because of the damn calculator. When I noticed it was becoming an obstacle, rather than a benefit, I stopped it from being used at home. I worked with her and taught her ways to get to know her times tables. She is now a whiz at them. Math is one subject that I am very good at. Therefore, I will not be letting my son fall into the same trap. As, I use it every single day (basic stuff) and I expect that my kids learn it properly too, I don't have a calculator hanging around when I go out.

Jodi - posted on 05/22/2012

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We had calculators even when I was young, from about Year 8 onwards. If we really want to talk old school, then there you go.....it existed old school too.

Stifler's - posted on 05/22/2012

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We had to have a calculator for maths most of our work used calculators especially in high school. We had to all have a scientific calculator from grade 8 onwards.

Fay - posted on 05/17/2012

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Shawnn your so right children don,t get to use their brains anymore without the aid of of some sort of help from electrical component stuck to their hands,ears, and so on......look at us never thought i would be using a computer!! haha xx

Felicia - posted on 05/17/2012

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As a teacher I think they should be banned. It is such an unnecessary distraction.

Jodi - posted on 05/17/2012

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I let my son use a calculator. If he had to sit there and do EVERY calculation manually, then it would take forever. He knows how to do it manually, but now that he is doing year 9 level maths, it gets far more complex, the focus is much more on how the formula works and not how to do the basic simple stuff. But in each equation, there could be 5 simple calculations, so for his maths homework, instead of taking an hour, if he had to do it without a calculator, it could take 2 hours.

After all, in real life, he will have access to a calculator the majority of the time. As long as he knows how to do simple maths easily, I don't see the point in forcing the issue at this stage in his life.

Valerie - posted on 05/17/2012

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I think they should be banned.. it would not be easy, and the first year or two, until parents get on board too, of teachers administrators taking them away... I am just REALLY tired of the statements similar to "my child MUST have a cell phone for safety reasons"... My teenagers do NOT have cell phones.. main reason is they had one,abused it, I took it away. Period! End of story! There is no absolute NEED for a cell phone.. there are a lot of WANTS, and A LOT of parents loving the convenience for themselves and their kids, but there is no real NEED!! Payphones still DO exist.. AND there are phone lines in school offices, etc. If you MUST get information to your children during the school day, do what our parents did, simply call the office, give them the message, they send a student aid or someone to the classroom and gives your child the message. It is really very simple, effective, your child can't say "the message didn't come through".. and without a phone in their possession on school grounds, they can't use one inappropriately.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/17/2012

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Are you my doppelganger, MeMe? LOL...So the same answer I give my kids!

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/17/2012

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LOL - Shawnn, you got that sooo right!



Which is why, I do NOT allow my children (well, my daughter right now and will my son) a calculator while doing simple math homework at home. I always get the "Well my teacher, lets me!" and I always give back the "Well, I am not your teacher, now am I? You are also not at school, right now are you? Perhaps, you should have completed this while in class?" UGH!



ETA:

I am happy to say my daughter can do simple/basic math without any help, unlike many of her friends..;)

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/17/2012

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Oh, Fay, that's changed too. NOW, graphing calculators are a requirement here from 7th grade on...and they had to bring basic calculators from 3rd on.

If you ever wonder why kids cannot complete a simple math problem on paper...well, the schools think it's more important for them to use calculators.

Jodi - posted on 05/16/2012

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My apologies, yes I did miss that :)

And I agree, my son respects his school rules too. But unfortunately, many kids don't, and neither do their parents. I understand emergencies. But if you watched a class of kids, emergencies must happen every 5 minutes.

I wish more parents were responsible, and held their kids accountable, like that. It would make the teacher's job MUCH easier. Unfortunately it is kids like yours who are missing out because the other kids can't follow the rules and the teacher spends half the lesson when she could be teaching (and kids could be learning) confiscating phones :\

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/16/2012

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Ah, but they don't, Jodi. That's my point. They respect the school's rules, and follow them. How do I know? I'm not putting extra minutes on their phones for ones that they've wasted.

And you must have missed the part that the only time they use them during class is if their TEACHER asks them too.

I've spent WAY too much time working in the school district, and at our local University to tolerate someone who will not abide by stated rules and regulations. My kids know darn good and well that if they were to break the rules and take their phones out during class time, I WOULD TAKE THEM and be damned with the school. My punishment would be FAR worse than anything the school could mete out.

I live in a small district, and all of the school administration knows me. Heck, I baby sat for half of them when I was in HS, myself. They know that I expect my kids to be the (good) example, and so far, they haven't disappointed me yet.

The other side of my coin is that, if I think, even THINK my kids are breaking rules, I can find out for sure by showing up at any time, in any class, any day.

Again, I say, it is MY responsibility as the PARENT to make sure my kids are following the rules, and I do that, quite aggressively. I cannot abide the entitled, selfish brats that I deal with in these settings, and I will not allow my children to be that way.

Jodi - posted on 05/16/2012

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"If it is necessary for my kid to carry a cell phone, it's for emergency reasons, and they WILL NOT turn that phone over to anyone without my express consent, unless they are in a test situation, and the teacher is collecting ALL electronic devices"

Even if they are trying to use it in class against the teacher's instructions and school rules?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/16/2012

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My kids have phones, and take them to school Its the only way that they can communicate with each other to coordinate rides after, as they are both in separate schools, and the eldest drives them.



The problem is not with the schools, it's with the parents teaching their kids to be entitled, selfish little brats.



My kids phones are on vibrate, in their pockets. They do not come out during class, unless asked by a teacher to contact me (yes, it's been done...LOL...After I yelled at my 14 YO for calling me during class time, and he handed the phone to his teacher, who explained that he, the teacher, needed to ask me something)



And, they do not check their phone in class for messages. There are times, due to my husband's medical situation, that I've had to text them during school hours to let them know changes in arrangements. Yes, Jodi, I know, I could have called the school office. However, that takes (sometimes) more time than I am willing to wait in an emergency situation. And, the last time I DID call to leave a message for one of them, the secretary flat out told me they'd get it quicker if I texted it.



Nor do my kids use their phones to browse the net...that's what their computers are for, and it's cheaper. And, before anyone asks me how I KNOW for sure that my kids aren't doing those things, I'll tell you. NEITHER Of my kids has a monthly cell plan. Nor do I. We are all on prepaid phones, that we purchase minutes for. So, they can't afford the net surfing. And, FB will shut them down for surfing during "school time"...my nephew found that out.



So...I say it is not the schools that need to adjust, but the parents that need to be taught, and need to teach their children proper etiquette. But, then again, proper etiquette is almost never taught to young people these days, so I guess it's a lost cause.



Should kids use the phones during school? No, unless its an emergency. But, case in point, if the kids in the classrooms during the Columbine shooting 11 (or so) years ago had not had cell phones, emergency responders would have had a harder time helping them.



If it is necessary for my kid to carry a cell phone, it's for emergency reasons, and they WILL NOT turn that phone over to anyone without my express consent, unless they are in a test situation, and the teacher is collecting ALL electronic devices

**Jackie** - posted on 05/16/2012

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Free talk after 6pm!!????!! Mine is 9pm! THAT'S it! My husband and I joked about moving to Canada but that is the final straw. These phone companies are for the birds! lol

Deborah - posted on 05/16/2012

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No, I don't think they should be banned. However I do think there is a time and place for them, and that is not in the classroom. Look at the future these kids are heading into. They are so bombarded with electronics and stimulation and they had better learn to tune in to the right stuff and tune out the rest at a very young age. I would have no problem at all with teachers collecting all cell phones, ipods, and calculators before a test as they do in my son's middle school. I would also support the teachers taking them away when they are misused - as I would support anything being taken from a child who misused it. But to take it from them entirely is just avoiding the real problem. We are constantly being distracted by our electronic toys and we either need to get better at focusing or get less distracting toys. Do you think the phones of the future will be less disctracting? No, I don't either... so let these kids learn to ignore or block this stimuli before they leave their childhood so that they can excel in the future when they are the only force controlling their action.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/15/2012

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$25/month here for my kids phone. No internet (well blocked by me but would have it otherwise - with 500mb free), unlimited texts and 200 free mins during the day, free talk after 6pm to 6am.



ETA:

I just realized I said 200 free mins during the day, well I meant 200 free mins a month for day time use (before 6pm and after 6am, since it is free between those hours, anyhow).

Dove - posted on 05/15/2012

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I don't have a problem with cell phones being banned during class time, but would have a problem with them being banned at school. In elementary school here the rule is 'phone off and in your backpack' and if you forget to turn your phone off and it happens to ring during class.... you will get in trouble for it.

The middle school is trying something new this last quarter where the kids can use their phone (with some teachers) during class time for research and stuff. Taking pictures with their phones is completely banned. My kid doesn't get to middle school til next year, so I don't know what the policy will be at that time. My kid's cell phone won't have internet access though, so there won't be a need for the phone to be out of the locker during school time.

As for the cost.... My cell phone plan is currently $50/month for 450 talk minutes and 200 texts (yes, crazy expensive... I get to change it after the 20th). The GoPhone I just bought for my kid (will be getting service when I change mine) could have unlimited talk, text, and web for $50/month. So.... paying for internet service for your kid doesn't sound that outrageous to me. I won't do it though cuz I'm looking to have BOTH our phones working for a total of $50/month. ;)

Brittney - posted on 05/15/2012

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I think they should be banned for many reasons. I didn't get a cell phone until I was in 9th grade but I left it in my locker until the end of the day, then I called my parents telling them I was getting out of school and getting on the bus and I'd call them back when I got home. They lived in the middle of no-where and thought I would get kidnapped on the way home. I still have a phone but it doesn't have internet or music...its just a basic phone. If the parent has a message for the child, they can call the school. I'm not going to get my daughter a phone until she can pay for the service herself...so around 14 years old if not later. By that time, I hope to get rid of my cell phone and invest in a land line. As for cheating, a lot of students gave the answers to their friends who had that same class after lunch or at some other point during the day. They cause concentration issues. .

Jodi - posted on 05/15/2012

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Joy, with my iPhone, I have internet access, but it switches to my wireless internet if I am home, so it is probably possible to block the 3G/4G network access, but still get internet access at home through the internet service there.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/15/2012

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With the providers I discussed this with, you can only block or unblock. There is no time restriction available. However, for my daughter, since her internet is blocked, she can only text, at all times.

[deleted account]

I don't have a cell phone, so this may sound like a silly question to you girls. Is there a way to block internet access on a cell phone, but only during certain hours? Like, make it where your son/daughter can still have the phone on them for emergencies at school but where they can't text/FB/or other random internet actions (like cheating) from say 7am until 4pm? Or is it where it's either blocked or unblocked and that's it?

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 05/15/2012

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I think it all depends on the school, the kids and the teacher. My daughter has her cell phone. She does not use it in some classes because it is not allowed. She is allowed to use it in other classes.



Actually, one of her teachers said, she thinks they should ALL be allowed to have smart phones, in class (I don't know the whole dictation behind that). When my daughter came home with that news (since she wants one), I told her to tell her teacher that her Mom thought it was a great idea, if and only if she (the teacher) is going to pay for it every month!



To add, I have the internet blocked on my kids phone. So, she cannot use that resource, regardless of where she is.



ETA:

In regards to taking a test, the teacher should be having the kids hand them in before the test. It is also pretty easy for a teacher to tell, who has cheated and who hasn't. Typically, a cheater doesn't have the best marks throughout the year. So, if they suddenly start getting awesome marks on tests, I think it is time to watch that kid during tests.

[deleted account]

I don't think they should be banned. However, I don't think kids should have phones with internet access or cameras if they can't pay for it themselves. So it's more the parents' fault than anything. I never had a camera phone or anything fancy until I had graduated high school and bought my own and started paying for my own service. Before that, I had a cheap little Tracfone that only had so many minutes on it for texting and calling so it was definitely only for emergencies. Our school, the nurse was never in her damn office so that day that my knee popped out of place and I couldn't move it? took her a fucking hour to show up because no one could find her and for some stupid reason the school wouldn't call my parents unless she gave the okay. My parents could have been there in a few minutes if I'd had a phone. It was after that that they got me a phone, so that shit like that wouldn't happen again. I sat on the damn sidewalk, unable to stand, for an hour until she showed up, and then she left again to get a wheelchair and then finally called my parents after she had wheeled me to her office. Kids would be vomiting in the halls and she would be nowhere to be found.

So no, I don't think cell phones should be banned. I just don't think kids need iPhones and bull like that.

**Jackie** - posted on 05/15/2012

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Yes, yes yes aaaand yes. I have a few cousins still in school and they post stuff on facebook all day. Not to mention they are normally complaining that their teacher is so stupid or something. When I was in high school, we had to leave our cell phones on silent in our lockers. We were allowed to check them but in order not to get in trouble you had to be like standing in front of your locker with it so pretty much in between classes while you were switching your books.

I liked this because you weren't distracted in class yet you can remain in contact with your parents or whomever. Also, it would help kids from cheating on tests. With all of these fancy phones, you can look up answers very quickly.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/15/2012

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Yes I believe there should be some sort of ban at schools. I disagree with confiscating them at the front office, but if in class if the teacher sees someone using one, certainly take it until the end of class. This is not only an issue of cyber bullying, or looking at inappropriate things during class, but also a cheating hazard. But frankly, I think putting that kind of demand on the school would be overwhelming to collect every cell phone before the start of school, and making sure they got back to the rightful owner at the end of the day. Also it would take time away from academics, and kids would probably miss the bus etc. Parents are usually the ones paying for them, and if my kid, who I allow to have a cell phone, had the school confiscate it when they were not even using it, then loses it??? You bet your ass I would expect the school to replace it.

Kids these days do need a cell phone for security reasons IMO. Life is different now from when I was a teen, and I would prefer my teen having one....but not abuse it.

Janice - posted on 05/15/2012

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I think a general ban would be way to difficult to put in place. However, I think schools should put strict use rules in place and students who break those rules can lose the privilege.

So a student caught using their phone during class can have it taken and if it happens repeatedly the student can be suspended or expelled at the parents (or student via part-time job) expense.

[deleted account]

I don't have a problem with kids having phones on them in school. If my kid had to take the subway to get to school then yeah, I'd want him to let me know he'd gotten there safely too. I think it's on the parents to teach responsible usage. The teachers (and office staff) have enough stuff to keep them backed up for months, without having to worry about collecting and then redistributing cell phones every day. That is not their job. Their job is to teach. Like Jodi said, with the amount of kids who carry phones, can you imagine how much time it would take during the day to take them away and then give them back later? No. Phones are ok. My son will have one when he is older. But he will also be taught when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate to use it and if he abuses it then it will be taken away.



ETA: Not to mention, phones will get lost, as many other things (coats, hats, ets) get lost at school. And parents will hold the school responsible. That's a liability that most schools can't afford (replacing lost cell phones).

Isobel - posted on 05/15/2012

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My kids take the subway to school together in the morning and sometimes home from school in the afternoon, and I like them to have a cell phone to contact me to let me know that they arrived at school and when they are leaving or if there's an emergency. They are well aware of the fact, however, that phones are turned off during school hours, and that's how it should be IMHO.

[deleted account]

I don't know about banning them completely, but restrictions on use would be a good step in the right direction.

A lot of the older kids around here do need them--they are driving their own cars or finding their own transportation to and from school, and they need a phone in case something happens. There are no pay phones around here anymore. Even my 7 year old son is reaching a point where we may need to give him one because his after-school activities often require him to stay late at the last minute.

I think most kids are responsible enough to turn them off during class hours, or at least to vibrate. If it disturbs the class, the teacher can take the phone until the end of the day. If a student is sitting in class texting or fbing, they're going to fail. I don't think it is the teacher's responsibility to worry about what the kid is doing as long as he/she is not disturbing others--they cannot force a student to pay attention. Teachers are there to teach, if the students don't want to listen, they can work at McDonalds for the rest of their lives.

Jodi - posted on 05/15/2012

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You know what? In an ideal world yes. But have you ever been a teacher in a classroom and spent 3/4 of the lesson removing mobile phones and managing behaviour, even when the school has a ban. The kids who are there because they WANT to learn miss out. So you tell me where the balance is. Based on that, try controlling it in the playground.



To be perfectly honest, I wish parents would be more respectful of the mobile phone policies in their child's schools. I guarantee, it isn't just the kids. PARENTS are texting and phoning their kids during school hours. If parents backed up the policies in schools, it wouldn't be such an issue, but the fact is they don't. Most schools here HAVE a mobile phone ban. MOST kids ignore it. So do the parents.



No, I am not condoning it. Not at all. But I am suggesting that at a practical level.....it's really not particularly viable unless you search every student on the way in to school.

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