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Should Las Cruces Public Schools ban students from using cell phones at school and at all school functions?

By
Olivia Acuña
ENG 111G27
9/11/2011

Cell phones have created a new era of communication between students around the world. Some students believe cell phones are helpful to communicate with their friends and family. Others disagree and believe that cell phones are being used in an inappropriate manner, during and after school activities. I strongly believe that cell phones should be banned during school hours because it has created a negative impact on students. For example, lack of writing skills, bad manners and the inappropriate use of a cell phone as a weapon are some of the negative outcomes that cell phones has created on school grounds. When students are in class supposedly to learn but they are using their cell phones at the same time, they are not paying attention to their teachers. They are giving all the attention to the text message, or calls that they receive on their phones. They don’t realize the negative impact they are going to earn with their lack of concentration. For example, students don’t realize of their grammar mistakes on their assignments, due to the texting. According to the Pew Research (2008) 50% of teens use informal writing in school assignments. Not only that but also 38% said that they had used abbreviations once in a while in their class work and finally 25% had used symbols instead of words (pg.2). This shows that using cell phones during class has affected student’s grammar skills and their learning ability. In addition, students may fail due to poor grades. On the other hand, some students believed that cell phones have nothing to do with the way they write. Instead they said it’s cool to use those abbreviations because everybody uses them. Others may blame the teacher for their lack of writing skills because they are not teaching right.
Besides the lack of writing skills we see students using their cell phones without any remorse toward their class mates. When you are trying to concentrate and learn from the teacher or classmates, it’s hard because when you hear the vibrating sound or ringer coming from cell phones. I believe this is not only a problem, it’s annoying and disrespectful. Or even worse when you have a test and you go to the library or a quiet place so you can study, the first thing that disrupts you is some student using a cell phone. In addition when you are attending a game or any activity during or after school and you get all frustrated because you can only hear the person next to you talking, fighting or joking over the phone. With these examples I can tell you that some students don’t have manners and they don’t care what others may think. Some students may disagree with me by saying that they have the right to carry a cell phone and use it when they have an emergency or whenever they want because this is a free country. Yes, that may be true but it’s not right to distract others from learning or enjoying events they are attending. If they choose to use the phone they should use it after school or after the event is over or use the phone on their own personal time. We all know they have the right to use their phone or do whatever they want but sometimes they are crossing the line. I wish students have the common sense and respect those who want to study especially on a quiet place or to those people that are paying attention to any school activities. Cell phones should be used as a way to communicate with others but when it’s used as a weapon that puts our students or the entire school in danger it’s totally wrong. I can give you plenty of information. But let me share some outraged information that I gathered from different sources. The School Security Organization (1996-2010), Arbit and Schmutzer authors of the article cell phone ban angers student (2006) and finally but not least Chen that wrote the article should public schools ban cell phones? (2008), talks about how cell phones are being used in an irresponsible and wrongful way by being used to call schools in bomb threats. In addition, cell phones are being used to organize gang activities during or after school explain Chen (2008). Students don’t realize that by making a simple call can cause a real hazard situation for others. The National School Safety and Security Services (NSSSO) mention that some students don’t understand that in a real situation they don’t suppose to be using cell phones because it can ignite a real bomb (¶6). Furthermore, when you use your personal cell phone to communicate with friends and family you put the entire school in danger. By making students and family members out of control causing anxiety or panic attack and the outcome would be worse (NSSSO, 1996-2010). On the other hand parents and some students may disagree with this information arguing that in those cases it’s real important to inform their parents. It could be true but they don’t realize by making calls or texting they may block the phones lines and communication to the fire department or police would be impossible. If students call their parents in a real situation, parents will slow down any evacuation or emergency plans the school must follow. That is why the (NSSSO, 1996-2010), suggest that each school employee should have cell phone to communicate with administrators in case of any emergency.
Last but not least cell phones have affected many people’s lives by taking pictures of them in an embarrassing situation. According to Arbit and Schmutzer (2006) students have taken pictures in locker rooms and restrooms and share them with other students. As the result some students have killed themselves or worse they get revenge by making a massacre in school grounds. Some of negative consequences by use a cell phone irresponsible could be terrible. I can give you another example is when students are being bullied or humiliated by another student and it’s been recorded with a cell phone. Later the video or pictures are put in the internet or sent by text. In contrast some people may argue that cell phones can be used as a positive tool when you may use it as evidence in a serious matter or it’s being use for protection for yourself or others. In addition some students may say that they will never do something like that. Yes, that could be correct and that is the way cell phones should be use.
Lack of writing skills, bad manners, and the inappropriate use of a cell phone as a weapon are some negative effects that cell phones are creating during or after school hours. Cell phones may help you during emergencies, contacting family and friends. On the other hand if cell phones are used for hurting your education, interrupting and invading people’s privacy that’s what makes it inappropriate. With all this information that I provided to you about cell phones, what do you think is the right or correct way to use your cell phone. Before any negative or positive decision about cell phones, gather information, educate yourself and know your limits about what is best for you and the rest of the people.

Reference
1: Arbit, I. & Schmutzer, D. (2006, May). Cell phone ban angers students. Retrieved September 13, 2011, from http://gothamgazette.com.
2: Grace, C. (2008, October 30). Should public schools ban cell phones? Retrieve September 13, 2011, from http://publicschoolreview.com.
4: National School Safety and Security services. (1996-2010). Cell phones and text messaging in schools. Retrieved September 13, 2011, from http://schoolsecurity.org.
1: Pew Research Center Publication. Writing, technology and teens. Retrieved September 13,
2011, from http://pewresearch.org/pubs/808/writing-technology-and-teens.

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