Cell Phone Usage in School Essay

Cell Phones and School Rebecca A. Morgan ENG 121 English Composition II Karen McFarland May 15, 2010 Cell Phones and School They have been around for many years and are not going to be going away any time soon. In fact, they are going to get better as time goes on. Learning how to cope with them and teach the children to be responsible when it comes to this technology is how the move forward will be easier. Cell Phones where only a thought at one point and now they are everywhere you go in the car, stores, schools and even at work.

Cell phones can be useful tools but are they necessary to carry into the classrooms, on the job, or while driving. Cell phones have been a growing issue in the schools for some time now. Some schools have even banned them from being on the property others have set strict rules about the use of the device. However, the most interesting thing found by this author was a teacher by the name of Ariana Leonard. Ariana Leonard is a Spanish teacher at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel, about 30 miles north of Tampa, FL.

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There she teaches her students by using their cell phones to search for Spanish vocabulary words through a scavenger hunt. In Pulaski, Wis. , about 130 miles north of Milwaukee, Spanish teacher Katie Titler has used cell phones for students to dial and record themselves speaking for tests (Armario, 2009). These two teachers are examples of how the cell phone can be use in a responsible manner. This does not give the students time to text message or call their friends. Showing the students how to be responsible with their phones in class can only plant the seed.

Being responsible with a cell phone has to go further than the classroom it should also be something that is taught at home as well, however; these two women have given these students a good start. Cell phone policy in school is another way that the school board is trying to fight the battle against the children using their cell phones in school. For example in Whiting Community School, use of cell phones is strictly prohibited between the hours of 7:45a. m. and 4:00p. m. The policy is clear and states that if a student has the phone “on their person” on the vibrate mode, it is a violation.

There are up to four opportunities to get the message across. If a student is caught for the first time, the phone is confiscated by staff and given to the administration to be collected by the student at the end of the day when heshe is reminded of the policy. The second offense states that the cell phone is taken from the student then is not returned for up to but not exceeding one week however, may be returned early if the parents meet with the administration to go over the policy and reinforce in the student that it is prohibited to have the phone on them while at school.

The offenses go on up to a fourth when the student is given a one-day suspension. The policy also states if at any time an illegal action occurs regarding the use of a cell phone, the matter will be immediately referred to county law enforcement. This policy is another way of dealing with the problem, but what is the message that the students receive? “If I mess up then I get another chance”, all of these consequences are only good if the parents support the school and enforce rules at home.

Nearly two-thirds of students with cell phones use them during school, regardless of school policies against it, over half (52%) admitted to some form of cheating involving the internet(Anonymous,2009). This is one of the reasons that cell phones are not a good idea for students in classrooms. The writer here believes they are unnecessary for students do to the fact that in one school in the author’s town, every classroom has a phone in it and in the office as well.

Therefore, in the event that a student needs to contact a parent or vice versa they have the necessary means to do so. Another policy targeted teacher-student cyber talk. This however, was a state law in Louisiana districts, which requires there to be documentation of every electronic interaction between teachers and students through a nonschool issued device, such as a personal cell phone or email account. Louisiana Rep. Walker Hines stated, “Teachers should be able to give out their cell phone number without any fear of unnecessary hassle or unintended consequences. (Ash, 2009). His reason for this comment was that teachers are sometimes all that the children have in cases such as abuse. If the times were not as they are this could be agreed on by the author, however, times being as they are giving of personal information should be documented as well as any conversations between a student and teacher. A teacher can go through if they suspect an abuse situation many other channels. Cell phones in the school are not just a problem with the students it is just as much a problem with the teachers and the caregivers.

The school where the author teaches has a huge problem with the phones. Teachers that should be watching children play on the playground are sitting on the ground talking and texting on the phone. Others hide in their closets to get a call or send a text. Are the people doing these things just not interested in having a job, or do they not care. This should not even be a problem. Where is the respect for the employer and the children? What happens when a child is seriously injured and the teacher has to answer the question “Where were you when this happened? This is something that can cost someone a job and his or her life if the injury to the child is bad enough for the simple fact that they could be found in neglect of the child. This would result in court hearings and possible jail time and or not being able to work or teach children again. The management at this school has tried to have all cell phones left in the car, at home, or in a basket in the office. This lasted about two weeks then things went back to usual. The next thing is if one is caught on the phone, they are relieved of employment.

This should work, but someone has to be caught first. People are sneaky they are going to do whatever it takes to not be caught. This all comes with there being cameras in the rooms as well. Again, there are phones in the office for such things as emergencies. The school gives the direct number to the employees along with the director’s personal home phone and cell phone during orientation the first week of employment, so in the event of an emergency the teacher can be contacted, so the need of a cell phone on the person is not necessary.

There was a lawmaker named Mary Flowers who used to hate the idea of cell phones in the schools. She even worked hard to have them banned from Illinois schools. She later changed her mind about this after the 1999 school shooting in Colorado. She stated “I’m thankful…. we have never had a Columbine {in Illinois}” (Anonymous, 2001). This is the shooting where two student gunmen killed a teacher and 12 fellow students before turning the guns on their selves. This was a sad day for all; however, this being an isolated incident and does not mean that all students nationwide need to carry cell phones for protection.

If this were the case then why not just have the students all carry guns at least that gives them a way to fight back. Another issue that the research has shown is if a student is given, a cell phone to take to school where is the reassurance that they will not be using them while driving in the school zone. There are laws in most of the states that prohibit this however, just like any other law they do get broken. Therefore, to keep this from happening and to keep everyone involved in a safe environment just leave the phones at home.

From all the information that has been gathered the only thing that the author saw that would be a positive use for cell phones were the teachers that used them in their classes for teaching. If a teacher or person can teach students how to be responsible with the cell phone then it is not a bad idea to have them in class however, when the teacher or students abuse the phones and uses them for personal gain then the phones need to be banned. Learning how to cope with them and teach the children to be responsible when it comes to this technology is how the move forward will be easier for everyone involved.

Discipline the children for the good of the Country and the World. References Anonymous,. Using Technology to Cheat. (2009). Phi Delta Kappan, 91(2), 6. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 1893067861). Christine, A. (2009, November 28). Cell Phones Now Teaching Tools Once Banned At Schools, The Communication Devices Are Becoming Part of Lesson Plans.

South Florida Sun – Sentinel,D. 3. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from Sun Sentienel (Ft. Luderdale). (Document ID: 1909694921). Katie, A. (2009, November). Policies Target Teacher-Student Cyber Talk. Education Week, 29(10), 1, 14, 15. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID: 1903406871). Should cell phones be allowed in school? (2001, October). Know Your World Extra, 35(3), 6-7. Retrieved May 9, 2010, from ProQuest Education Journals. (Document ID” 84516521).


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