Mobile phones at school

Nikki - posted on 12/05/2011 ( 34 moms have responded )

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Do you think children should be allowed to have mobile phones at school? Do your local schools allow mobile phones?

I am sure there are different policies for different school, but at our local high school the kids are allowed to have their phones but they are not supposed to use them during class times. This of course does not stop them, I know a few teenagers who constantly update their fb status when they are in class.

Aside from the fact they are a disruption I dislike the idea of smart phones in schools because I feel it makes it easier for children to cyber bully their peers. I think it could also cause a divide between those children who are unable to afford the latest "cool" phone.

Your thoughts?

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Amie - posted on 12/05/2011

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I'm not sure what the HS policy is. I know the elementary school allows them but they must go in there locker (and the teachers do check) at the back of the room, turned off and not allowed until the end of the day. If the kids try to sneak them, they're confiscated. They may not even be returned but the parents know this. If they don't they're idiots who don't read all the papers we sign at the beginning of the year.



I don't see the need for a phone during class. I can see the need for *some* students to have one at school. Like ours, she's a bus student and as she gets older it is needed. It was needed this year (grade 6) occasionally but she just borrows one of ours when she did need it. Her school activities practices, this year, were during school hours but their meets were not. So she'd have to borrow ours to let us know when to leave to get her - since there is no guaranteed end time for some things. I also can't make it to every activity so it worked for us. With high school approaching next year, I'm sure the need will become even more apparent when school activity practices are scheduled for after school, along with any meet or function they do.



I can see the concern and I understand it. It's also why my child will not be getting a smart phone. There is NO need for her to have a smart phone, none. She needs a phone to communicate, not to piss around on the internet, not to schedule her life, not to play games, etc. To communicate, that's it.



If she wants more, she will pay for it herself. Until she can, she gets whatever we give her when we feel it's time. There will be rules and no use during class will be one of them. She breaks those rules, if the teachers haven't confiscated her phone - I will. She can then go back to borrowing ours as needed until she earns her phone back.

Jodi - posted on 12/09/2011

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See, that's just wrong Sharon. I had to get in touch with my son last week during the school day and I rang the office to do it. He knows that if I want to get in touch with him during the day, that's how I will do it. But that is the first time all year I have had to contact him DURING the school day. I don't understand what on earth a parent would want to be contacting their kids for several times a day. I honestly don't get that. So I can see how parents are a part of the problem.

Tina - posted on 12/07/2011

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I don't agree with phones at school a always see that my younger siblings who still live at home go on facebook in class they can't possibly be paying attention and learning. I can understand parents worry about their kids in an emergency but they're at school if they need to get in contact with a parent the school has phones and should also have contact numbers including alternative family member incase they can't get a hold of a parent. I do think if someone is going to be cyber bullying banning phones from school wont change much for the simple reason kids will still do it at home. The internet makes it too easy for people to do it anywhere anytime. But they are distracting in class. Alot of people I knew at school were always mucking around on their phones texting not paying attention. We weren't even meant to have phones in school either but no one enforced the rule.

Sherri - posted on 12/06/2011

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Only once they start high school should they be allowed. Our schools only allow them once they start high school. If they see them in the lower levels the phones are confiscated.

I have never found it has caused any kind of divide or extra problems with cyber bullying since that will happen phones or not.

Minnie - posted on 12/06/2011

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I was in a lot of extracurricular activities when I was in high school and a cell phone would have saved me so much time and frustration.

There's no reason to have them on or in class, but I think it's a good thing to bring one and keep it in the locker.

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Sherri - posted on 12/09/2011

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I actually think some of those things are important Sharon but I also think they can wait till lunch time or during a break.

[deleted account]

Jodi, I have to say it's split 50/50 with the parents contacting their child via text DURING class versus parents calling the main office. Kids are allowed on their phones during their 5 minute passing time. And nothing is REALLY an emergency. It's a lot of:
"Can I stay after today?"
"Can I go home with _____?"
"What grade did you get on your test?"
"Can you pick me up today? I don't want to take the bus home."
"Did you do your homework last night?"
"Don't forget to ask your teacher about _______."

And it goes on and on of the non-emergency texts.

Michele - posted on 12/09/2011

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OK, so I said that my daughter was very responsible with the use of her phone, and she is. She is a freshman. However, my 7th grade son got his phone taken away yesterday for texting in class. So I have to say it depends on the child. His phone will now be in my possession unless he is going somewhere where I need to reach him (not school).

[deleted account]

I also have to say parents of some of my high school kids are equally as bad becasue the parents are also texting their child inthe middl eof teh school day, seveal times a day. And becasue we live in an instantaneous society, kids want to check their messages frequently and respond ASAP. It's a huge problem in my school.

Stifler's - posted on 12/08/2011

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I reckon you could drop a basic nokia off a 3 storey building and it wouldn't break.

Stifler's - posted on 12/08/2011

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if I got my kid a phone.. it'd be a Nokia "tough" phone to withstand being crushed on the bus or in their bag.

Sarah - posted on 12/08/2011

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My son has a cell phone and he's 8. He does take it to school but it has to be on silent and turned off he does not have FB and he does not have web on his phone. His phone is a simple touch screen with keyboard we have the same phone. H e only uses his phone if there is an emergancy he keeps it in his cubby. I think it's fine as lon as it's turned off or on silent and isn't doing anything he shouldn't.

Mommy - posted on 12/07/2011

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Funny, I never had a phone in school, and magically I survived. I used to call my mom collect, and when the operator said "State you name" I would say "Mom, pick me up." She wouldn't accept the charges, and I would get my ride home. I don't agree with kids having smart phones at all, I think it is irresponsible for us to give children the power to browse the internet with no supervision. There is no reason for cell phones in school.

[deleted account]

My son is 12 - 6th grade and he's had his own phone for the last 5 years. He has to get himself to and from school and so this year, he's had to actually take his phone to school, where he hasn't been allowed to do so in past. Also, he volunteers two days a week after school, so he doesn't always get home, or head home at the same time every day.

It has to be on silent and stay in his backpack when he's in class. So far, so good, we haven't had a problem.

That being said, I can see all of his usage online (including data), if I see that he is abusing this privilege I will take the phone, he can use the phone in the office to let me know he's on his way home.

Aleks - posted on 12/06/2011

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My answer: No - not in primary school. I reserve my judgement about high school though, until my kids get closer in age to it (my oldest has just started to attend a primary school this year)

Sherri - posted on 12/06/2011

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Well I have two teenagers and at least here we have not had such problems in the least. So no I don't see it adding to the problem. Especially since if they want to cyber bully they are going to do it whether they have a phone or not as soon as they get to a computer. So no I stick by what I said phones have not added to any problem there already was in this area.

Nikki - posted on 12/06/2011

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See my biggest issue is with cyber bullying. Sherri how can you say it hasn't caused extra problems with cyber bullying? Teenagers are the worst at cyber bullying and by putting a smart phone in the hands of bullies during school hours is pretty scary. I am not sure about the US but there is a trend in Aus where teenagers and young adults run these gossip pages on FB, the stuff that is on these pages is disgusting and it's all anonymous. There was one for our local high school and it was always updated during school hours, so this is my main issue with phones at school, how to control cyber bullying, how to control the distraction when some of these kids are so sneaky.

Becky - posted on 12/06/2011

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I don't allow my daughter to take her phone to school. Then again she's easily distracted and has in the past had her house key taken away in class for being a distraction! I just know the temptation to have her phone with her in class would be too much for her.

She doesn't have a smart phone, & she's not allowed to txt on the phone either (she's 10). She has a phone because she's home alone for 2 hours after school and has to check in with me the moment she gets home.

Stifler's - posted on 12/05/2011

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I'm not against phones in lockers for emergencies just not in the classroom and at lunch to fart arse around on instead of doing work or socializing properly. And not smart phones.

Medic - posted on 12/05/2011

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I had my cell phone from 6th grade on. Granted we didn't have texting until I was in highschool but I always had my phone on me as did my friends. We were not allowed to have them out in class but we could use them between classes and at lunch. Real smart phones did not come out until after I graduated but I would have probably loved to have mine in school just because I can plan my life in it.

Amanda - posted on 12/05/2011

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My daughters school allows cell phones (of course cant be used during school hours). I also allow her to bring it because the school office is horrible for getting messages to child so I just text her on her lunch break or after school. If I ever see her posting on facebook during times that are not break times, I will be the one who removed the phone from her.

Stifler's - posted on 12/05/2011

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@ Sharon CF before there was phones there was cassette recorders... and we used to record our English teacher abusing the class and play it to people at lunch to laugh at. Also before there was phones to bully people with,... there was the note around class with "Do you think so and so smells yes/no ".

Stifler's - posted on 12/05/2011

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I think mobiles have no place at school. Do your bloody school work, you don't need a phone. TALK to your friends in real life instead of sitting glued to your phone.

Jodi - posted on 12/05/2011

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Just for the record, while I don't have an issue with a kid having a mobile phone as long as they aren't using it during school hours, I will NEVER buy my kids a smart phone, period. They are totally unnecessary. They can have their own smart phones when they can pay for it AND legally sign the contract for it without me.

Michele - posted on 12/05/2011

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My daughter uses her phone as a planner. She adds homework assignments to her calendar. And she is doing a much better job keeping on top of assignments this year.



However, internet access on her phone is blocked so I don't have to worry about FB. She does sometimes text me during the day to remind me that there is a dine and donate or she has a late water polo practice. Between classes.



So while I understand what you are saying, the fact that she has her phone accessible has been a positive for our family.



ETA: she does not have a smart phone and doesn't need one.

[deleted account]

Here's the scary aspect of phones in the classroom, and it IS another debatable topic in itself. I just scoured YouTube for videos taken during class time, of the teacher and of the students. Violation of privacy on so many levels from kids with their phones. I've been audio recorded against my knowledge and it came up in an IEP meeting! I was utterly FLOORED. But I do have a problem if students intentionally sneak around to video tape class, then post it on YouTube.

[deleted account]

As a teacher and human being, I detest them. Somehow we managed to survive when we were children in a world without cell phones.

(Sheesh, who thought I'd one day remind myself of Andy Rooney.) "

Liz, I couldn't have said it any better! I teach in a high school with 1800+ kids. I'm guessing at least 90% have phones. IN my class, I've caught few and far between. I'm savvy enough to know who who sneaking texts and I take the phone, keep it for the day. We are also a 100% technology school-every kid every teacher has a laptop. So while Facebook/Twitter and other social media is blocked, we have kids breaking down the firewalls all the time. Are phones useful? Yes, but time and place for everything

Tracey - posted on 12/05/2011

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Our school allows them but they are supposed to be turned off, One violation and the phone is confiscated until parents received a posted letter telling them to collect it from school, which could take a week to arrive. 2nd violation and it is confiscated until the end of the school year.

[deleted account]

As a teacher and human being, I detest them. Somehow we managed to survive when we were children in a world without cell phones.

(Sheesh, who thought I'd one day remind myself of Andy Rooney.)

Jodi - posted on 12/05/2011

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My son is allowed to TAKE his phone to school, but it must be left in his locker during class. He just turns it off during the day and leaves it in his locker, but he likes to have it to and from school - he usually texts me if he is running late, or I text him if after school plans change (he checks his phone when school is done). If they do take it to class, even if they are not using it, it will be confiscated and they get it back at the end of the day. If this happens as a regular occurrence, I believe the school will speak to the parents about confiscating it for the week. I'd be on board with that if my son were breaking the rules.

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