Because technology is such a huge part of our lives, parents are constantly asking their schools to allow them to be used during school and for multiple reasons, the biggest is being able to contact their child when necessary. More and more, school administrators are listening to these parents and are starting to allow cell phone use during school, and they are even finding ways to incorporate them into lessons.
A survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics shows us just how much schools have changed their minds on cell phone policies. In 2009-2010, 90 percent of public school prohibited cell phone use. In 2015-2016, the percentage dropped to 66 percent of public schools. Over the same period of time, the percentage of schools with bans on cell phone usage dropped from 80 percent to 35 percent.
Many schools and school staff are finding that cell phones are a great tool in the classroom. They can be used for the same things that you would do on a computer, but they don’t cost the districts any money.
There are, however, schools, districts, and even states that have tightened their cell phone policies and rules. The Ohio School Board is one of them. They believe that being able to use your phone during school is a distraction, and they see an increase of cheating and texting during class. When Seymour High School Principal Jim Freund from Connecticut imposed a strict ban in December, students have reported getting more work done in study hall and the cafeteria has grown louder as students talk to one another more.
At GMS, we have reasonably strict phone policies. We aren’t allowed to have them out at snack or lunch, during passing periods, or have them in class (unless allowed by a teacher). I believe that our school should keep the policies the same, but maybe allow us to have them out at snack or lunch. If we had them during passing periods, people would get distracted in the hallways and probably be late to class or cause other people to be late to class. And I don’t think phones should be allowed in class because they are a big distraction, unless the teacher allows it.