It is extremely common for schools to ban cell phones as disturbances in the classroom environment. This is understandable, as no teacher would really want to have their students chatting or texting endlessly while they are attempting to teach a class. Further, the sounds of phones ringing, especially with the newfangled ringtones that play loud, popular songs, could be an incredible disturbance in the classroom. That said, is there any good reason to have cell phones in the classroom?
Some would argue no, but others can see benefits to such a thing, if they were allowed only in emergency situations. As much as we hate to discuss such dark things, we live in a time where threats inside the walls of schools are at an all-time high. With violent acts, school shootings, and other events getting a lot of coverage, a student with a cell phone could place a life-saving call in the event of an emergency situation that could only be considered “the worst.” Further, if a teacher became ill and was unable to get help, while a student went to get aid from another teacher or school employee, one could place a call to the emergency authorities and speed up the process of getting help. In situations like these – which we hope will never happen – a cell phone could be the line between life and death for some people.
Some parents also argue that they want their children to be accessible in case of family emergencies. They feel they have the right to contact their children, without delay, if something comes up. Considering that in most cases the parents pay for and supply the phones to their children / the students, they argue there is no reason the school should tell them they can not reach their children whenever they want. Schools will counter-point that they are they authority figure in the students’ lives while the students are on school grounds. As such, this is a debate that continues and rages on amongst parents and administrators and teachers. It is unlikely to come to a solid conclusion or resolution any time soon.
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons for children and students to be allowed to have their cellular or mobile phones in school. With proper rules set up and common sense discretion, they can be excellent tools that can save lives or make emergency situations go more smoothly.
Nicole Lero is a technology junkie who spends much of her time contemplating the philosophical impacts of technology. She has a world-class collection of Sprint ringtones, which are also Real ringtones and loves to show them off to her friends in New York City.