Monday, August 11, 2008

Cell Phones Headed Back To School

AddThis Feed ButtonLast month, one of my students called her mom during recess to complain that girls were teasing her. Within a few minutes, the girl's mother appeared in the front office and demanded that the principal investigate the situation immediately. As it turned out, the girl admitted that she, too, was involved in the name-calling. We all informed her that she should have sought the assistance of one of the adults on duty, but she admitted she preferred to call her mother on the cell phone instead. This begs the question: Should students be allowed to use their cell phones at school? This week, one school board ruled to give it a try:
"A trial policy approved by the Grand Blanc Board of Education on Monday will allow students at Grand Blanc High School this fall to use their cellphones before or after school, between classes or during lunch. The new rule also applies to iPods, pagers, CD or MP3 players and other electronic gadgets. But the classroom -- or any area during class time -- will remain a "sacred place," free of calls and text-messaging." --quote from Sally York | The Flint Journal, August 5, 2008

I, for one, wouldn't be caught dead without my cell phone -- it's my life-line to the world. If I receive an e-mail from my boss, I try to respond right away. If I get a voice mail from my wife, I'll listen to it at by break and call her back when the students are at recess or lunch, which is my earliest convenience. But should students carry cell phones on campus? If so, under what conditions should they be allowed to use them? I have no problem with cell phones at school, as long as they do not interfere with the learning experiences I have prepared for them. The Grand Blanc, Michigan Board of Education seems to side with me and are going to give it a go. In the long run, I think cell phones and other gadgets on campus will win. What do you think? 

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