Sample Persuasive Essay
Prompt: The South Kitsap School District is instituting a no-tolerance ban on student cell phones and personal electronics while on campus during school hours. Write a persuasive essay supporting or opposing this new policy.
Attention Grabber: Currently, over 90% of all American middle and high school students own either a cell phone or a personal MP3 player and a recent USA Today survey found that 98% of teenagers admit to using their cell phones while in class at least five-ten minutes out of each school day. Background information: Most teenagers own at least one piece of personal electronic gear in order to make their daily lives easier or more entertaining: MP3 players, cell phones, e-readers dominate today’s teenage existence and there is no slowing of this trend. When teens aren’t engaged with entertainment and communication at school, the Internet and television are ready and waiting at home. However, this prevalence of media access and usage is infecting schools more and more. Summary of the issue’s controversy: Currently, schools, parents, and students are holding discussions regularly about how to balance school life, home life, personal lives, and their digital lives. Many schools like South Kitsap High School argue that the best balance and solution is to remove all media and electronics from campus during school hours. Parents and students, however have many strong objections as to why students should be allowed to carry and sometimes use their devices throughout the day on campus. Position statement: The South Kitsap School district must intervene in this debate by mandating that all personal electronic devices be kept off school campuses during school hours because the education process and the overall atmosphere of the schools will be improved by this ban.
Body paragraph – Ethical
Topic sentence: Students across the school district have a fundamental right to learn in a safe, comfortable, and distraction-free environment; thus, the ban on electronics will preserve this right. Appeals with evidence and commentary: The quality of education will improve with more students focused and less attention on electronic distractions. When just one student is distracted because the student or students around him or her are listening to headphones too loudly in class and a student needs quiet to focus, that student’s right to learn is being impeded. Students do not have “rights” to play with their electronics in school. Additionally, many schools like South Kitsap have electronic policies but they do not enforce their own rules. By being lax on this rule and others, students come to expect their electronics and then other rules to be ignored. This lack of enforcement creates an atmosphere of rule-breaking across the board. Because of this improved environment, the only moral and ethical step the schools can and should take is to ban cell phones and all personal electronics. Schools have the obligation to create and maintain the best possible learning environments, thus, if they know such a ban will help with this, then it is the right thing to do. Lastly, schools have an obligation to protect student safety, but mass electronic use by students puts student safety in danger. In a school with over one thousand students in the hallways during passing periods, students who are texting while walking or who are zoned out with earphones pose a safety risk to themselves and others in the hallways and on the stairs. This logjam and safety risks can be alleviated by the school stepping up to its responsibilities, enforcing its current rules, and implementing a full ban on student electronic use during school hours on campus. Opposing argument/position: There are many students and their parents who believe that personal electronics are private property, and therefore they believe they have a legal right to carry their property and use it with them...
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