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Cell Phones In Schools Research Paper

2237 words - 9 pages

Over the last few decades, the growing popularity of cell phones, especially among teenagers, has resulted in school administrators questioning whether they should allow students to use cell phones during class hours. Before the popularity of cell phones increased, the biggest concern of school administrators was the possibility of drug dealing; however, as the prevalence of cell phones grew, the concerns changed to fears of inappropriate use and distractions. In the early 90’s, states began banning cell phones and pagers in schools as an attempt to stop communication between drug dealers (Ballaro, Ginsburg). According to Patricia O’Neill, a Montgomery school board member, “[t]here was a view that only drug dealers and gang members had cell phones” (de Vise). Because of these views, many schools denied students access to their cell phones during school hours, but as the popularity of cell phone grew within the next two and a half decades, state legislatures started to realize the difficulty of enforcing these bans. In addition to the school administrators’ worries of communication between drug dealers, many educators pushed for the complete ban of cell phones in fear that cell phones would distract students from learning (Ballaro, Ginsburg). Given the opportunity, many teachers worry that students would use their phones throughout their classes rather than learning. Though some school officials still struggle to believe that repealing the bans on cell phones can have beneficial results, Barrington High School in Chicago, Illinois has proven their doubts as wrong. At Barrington, the administration has installed rules that tolerate cell phone use at almost anytime and anywhere, as long as the student does not disrupt the class (Rossi). According to the Dean of Students, “[t]he reason [Barrington] went to that policy was hopefully to prepare young adults to turn their phones off when they’re supposes to be off and to use them in the right way”, and the policy has been rather successful. More schools around the country should adapt policies such as that of Barrington High School in order to help students achieve their potential in their classes. The ban on cell phones during school hours not only creates safety concerns, but also hinders students from reaching their full academic potential as they gain popularity among teenagers; thus, schools should consider reevaluating their cell phone policies.
Advocates for the repeal of cell phone bans in school argue that students should be allowed to carry their phones with them throughout the day for safety reasons as well as for the convenience of the student’s parents. Due to recent events, such as the shooting at Sandy Hook or even the terrorist attack on 9/11, many people, parents especially, have brought up that point that students should have their cell phones with them while at school in case an emergency occurs. Dr. Joyce D. Kenner, Principal of Whitney Young High School, believes that a cell phone...

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