If you ask me if a child should have a cell phone, I will answer yes without any hesitation. I think children today need a cell phone simply for safety sake. There are phone plans and parental restrictions to suit all needs. In today’s world, a cell phone is a necessity for any child old enough to be able to use it in an emergency.
The problem arises when the cell phones are brought to school. Many school districts prohibit their use, even their presence at all times, even during prep periods and lunch. Student handbooks outlaw the possession of a cell phone anywhere on school grounds. Any child with a cell phone can have it confiscated by faculty.
I disagree with this policy. And while I am well aware that many students will use their phones indiscriminately, trying to call or text friends during class or risk having their phones go off in the classroom, I can’t agree with the policy of no cell phones. It isn’t practical.
Specific rules need to be put in place so that phones are silenced and in backpacks during class. Having been a teacher in a high school I know it can be done and done successfully.
Mobile phones are a safety feature in a world that has become unsafe and unfriendly especially to children. How many adults feel safer knowing they have a cell phone in their possession, not simply for talking to friends, but “just in case.” I know I do and have used it more than once to summon help. How much more necessary is for your child to have one on their person “just in case?”
School policies are not always made to benefit all students. The disallowing of cell phones because of misuse by a minority of students is unfair to the majority who would adhere to the rule of no phone use in classes.
As an educator I know that most students would limit their phone use to before and after school, during free periods and for emergency calls. I also know firsthand of two incidents where student use of cell phones was a practical help. When there was a crisis at my school and faculty and students had to exit the building immediately, many students called their parents to let them know they were safe. Another situation concerned a boy’s uncomfortable feeling about a fellow student who had made threats. When the administration dismissed his fears he used his cell phone to call the local police who found a weapon in the locker of the student who had made the threats.
If your child’s school has a policy against cell phones and you object, make an effort to enlist other like-minded parents to join you at board of education meetings and lodge formal protests. Stress the safety factor of having cell phones as your children’s right.
Cell phones are not only convenient, they are one more way to for you to stay connected with your child and know they’re safe.