Cell Phone Usage in School

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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. 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 he\she 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,...
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