by Aja Landolfi, junior co editor in chief
Cell phones are all around us. Most adults, teens and even kids as young as nine have cell phones. Cell phones used to be given to children by their parents as a way to get in contact with each other during an emergency. Now technology has changed so much that most kids have a phone just for the fun it can provide. According to б cell phones were originally banned from schools because of their connection to gang activity, as well as being a disruption to classes. These bans started over a decade ago and they have been altered a few times since then, but they have never allowed students to have their cell phones in school. On Mayor de Blasio and SchoolБs Chancellor Carmen Fariцa announced that they are going to be lifting the cell phone ban. If the panel approves of this, the new law will take place on March 2. By the ban being lifted it will now allow the principals of all NYC schools to decide if their students will be allowed to have their phones on them and if they will be allowed to use them. Many families feel that it is important for students to be able to have their cell phones on them in school in case of an emergency. Families say that in a time of crisis they need to be able to get in touch with each other. Even though this factor would be a beneficial one, if cell phones are allowed in schools there will be a lot more negative factors than positive ones. БI think having our cell phones in school isnБt a bad thing because if there is a family emergency your parents can reach you and make sure youБre okay,Б sixth grader Layla Rodriguez. Cell phones in the classroom will serve as a distraction to kids learning. If cell phones were allowed in schools very few students would actually pay attention to what is being taught. Why would they pay attention when they could be talking with friends in another school or class, surfing the web, or playing games. The cell phones in the classroom would only cause a distraction and studentБs grades would greatly suffer. БItБs extremely distracting because I know a lot of people who text and drive and even walk and drive so when given the opportunity to use their cell phone in the classroom, they will avert their attention to what they think is more interesting like social media then what teachers have to say,Б middle school dean Mr.
Angeles said. Not only would cellphones cause a distraction to the kids who are carrying them, it will also pose as a distraction to the kids who arenБt carrying their cellphones on them and are trying to learn. With the constant distraction of a cell phone going off and being out, many students could struggle with paying attention and staying focused in school. БI think itБs a good thing because it can be more educational and it could help with school work. Students should have a right to have their phones as long as they arenБt doing anything bad on it,Б freshman Nikita Mosier said. Cheating on tests would also become a growing problem. In many schools, cheating is already a big problem. If students are allowed to carry and use their cell phones, cheating would become easier. If students б are given permission to use their cell phones, administration canБt really limit them and tell them that they canБt have it for a certain period that day. Even if limits are put in place, rules arenБt always followed. When kids go to school they should feel safe. The only thing that they should be worried about is their education. However, with the issue of bullying occurring in so many schools a lot of kids go to school in fear. When students get bullied it can threaten their emotional and physical well being at school, it can also affect their learning. If students feel threatened all the time, they wonБt be able to focus in class and get the education that they need. If cell phones were to become allowed in schools, it would make bullying a lot easier. Rumors and news would spread ten times quicker than if no one had their cell phones on them. This faster form of bullying would make school even worse for the kids who are already bullied. If the principals in schools want their students to succeed, they would allow their students to bring their cell phones into school but not carry them around or have them in any of their classes.
By having their cell phones in school, students would be allowed to get in touch with their parents after school, and in case of an emergency. At the same time however not being allowed to have them in class will allow students to focus and learn what they need to learn to succeed in life. БThe lift of the cell phone policy is meant for schools that have scanning before you enter the building. It now means that those schools will no longer have the scanning. Our cell policy will remain our cell policy,Б principal Mrs. Schneider said. It s hard to separate a teenager from his or her phone, but it might be for his or her good particularly during the school day. Here are five thought-provoking reasons schools should consider banning the devices from their classrooms: 1. Academic Performance Improvement According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Texas and Louisiana State University, when schools forbid students from bringing their smartphones into the classroom, their grades quickly improve on the whole. Because students were subsequently more attentive in class, their test scores increased by. We re not talking about younger kids, either. The results were most pronounced for high school students over 16 who not coincidentally are the teenagers most addicted to their cellphones. Taking away phones for students under 14 had less of an academic impact, seemingly because they spend less time using their phones during class anyway. 2. It s Even Better for At-Risk Students While most students seemed to get an educational bump when they were without their cellphones in class, the difference was most pronounced. Students who live in poverty or attend special education classes or have subpar grades benefited approximately twice as much as their peers after ditching the technological distraction. Considering that at-risk kids need every advantage they can get, why not go for it? By removing their phones from the classroom, it was the equivalent of adding an extra hour of class per week, a perk that most teachers could only dream of.
Altogether, students lose almost a full week of school interacting with their phones rather than engaging in class. 3. Cuts Down on Screen Time Scientists continue to warn about the dangers of kids spending. It s normal for kids to spend about six hours per day in front of a screen be it a computer, phone or television and that s not even including any screen time that occurs at school. One key way to ensure that students eyes and minds receive a much-needed reprieve from so much screen staring is to minimize the amount that occurs at school. That starts with explicitly keeping smartphones from entering the classroom. 4. Reduces Cyberbullying Teens can be vicious with their online messages. While it s that sort of mean behavior at night, at least some of that behavior can be reduced by preventing kids from using Twitter or Facebook during the school day. Kids should feel safe at school and not have to continually check their social media accounts to ensure that a peer isn t posting cruel or harassing messages. While bullying is easier for teachers to spot and subsequently intervene when it plays out in real life, itГввs impossible to tell what students are communicating to each other silently on their phones. 5. The Emergency Debate The main reason that parents advocate for their kids having phones in the classroom is that they want to be able to reach them in case of an emergency. In order for them to be able to receive that emergency message, however, they d have to not only leave their phones on, but also check their phones constantly to ensure that they d receive this message. Most likely, they d be wading through a lot of distracting, non-emergency messages throughout the school day on the chance that something important might get sent. The good thing about schools is that they have secretaries to facilitate emergency calls, so parents can call the school rather than the student. School schedules make it easy to locate a student at any point throughout the day, so an important message can be passed along with little effort. Photo Credit: