Should Cellphones Be Allowed At School?

Amelia Wignall, Journalist

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Since smartphones have become popular among adults and teenagers, people have found it nearly impossible to live without them. There are many different opinions on whether or not phones are detrimental to students, and people in general. 

On average, a teenager spends 9 hours a day on their phone. They go on social media, play games, watch YouTube, etc. The average teenager goes to school for about 7 hours a day, meaning that they spend much longer on their phones than they do at school. Assuming that the teenager does some extracurricular activities and spends some time doing homework, they can’t possibly spend all nine hours on their phone outside of school. If a teenager spends several hours on their phone while they’re in school, that means that they are definitely not paying attention in class. Many schools have solved this problem by completely banning phones inside of school. But is that the right approach?  

Catharine Blaine has created a system for cellphones. There is a cellphone “parking lot” in each middle school classroom, where students have been instructed to put their phones during class. The procedure for when a cellphone is taken is the first time, the phone goes to Mr. Gray, and the student can have it back at the end of the day. The second and third time, the phone goes to Mr. Gray and the office will call the student’s parents. After that, consequences may vary. The student must either leave their phone in the office for a week or leave it at home for a week. Mr. Gray says that this system is still a work in progress, so it changes all the time, but for now, teachers have been instructed to follow this as closely as possible. Even though Mr. Gray has told all of the middle school teachers the procedure for when a phone is taken, most of them aren’t following it exactly. The teachers aren’t enforcing the phones in the parking lot, the “3 strikes and you’re out” rule, and sending the phones to Mr. Gray. Because of this, lots of kids are getting away with using their phones in class and at lunch, which creates a distracting learning environment. 

Cellphones in the classroom can be good or bad, depending on how you use them. You can spend your time on them on social media, texting, and other non-academic things, or you can use them in the classroom for learning tools such as online textbooks and looking up words or books online. If a teacher gives a student permission, should they be allowed to use their phone for learning, or should phones be banned because of wrong usage? 

I think that cell phones should be allowed in school under one of two conditions: either each student must park their phone in the parking lot, or after one strike, their phone must be kept at home by their parents.