Should Students Be Allowed to Use Cellphones in School?

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McKenna Wright, Senior Staff Writer

A topic that is widely discussed in schools all around the world is students’ cell phone usage. This is debated all the time between students, teachers, parents, and administration. No one really knows if they are more beneficial or detrimental to education, and questions like should they be allowed, are they distracting, and are they actually helpful, are constantly running through teachers and administrators minds. Though it’s not yet certain if they are more helpful or harmful, teachers and students tend to have very opposing views on the matter.   

Many teachers believe that cellphones in school are nothing more than a distraction. If students have their cell phones in their possession it takes their focus off of what they are learning, and just directs it to their phones. They sit there constantly wondering who has texted them, and what people have posted, and it can be deleterious to their education. In the piece, “There’s a Cell Phone in Your Student’s Head”, it states, “The mere presence of a cell phone, even when it is silenced and stored out of sight, might be undermining our ability to focus.” Due to this teachers tend to be very quick to want to implement the ban. Focus problems can lead kids into a downward spiral, it’s not only negatively impacting their ability to focus, but that can also affect them mentally, and these things usually start to affect their grades. In the article “Should you let your kids have a cellphone in school?, it says, “The rationale against cellphones in schools is that excessive exposure to the devices will have a negative effect on school-aged kids – lowering grades, promoting cyberbullying and even increasing the likelihood of teenage anxiety, depression and suicide.”.  Things like cyberbullying, anxiety, and depression are common concerns made by parents. These concerns also tend to amplify by the time their kids get old enough to have a phone. With the hope of preventing these things many parents would also be very willing to agree to a ban on phones in school. 

On the other side of that students believe that they should be allowed to have their phones in school. Many believe that since they have no choice in being here and doing the work, they should at least be able to use their phones, as they are helpful tools. For one, having a cell phone in school can also aid in the safety of the students. In the event that something may happen that is concerning the students safety, the ability to keep parents updated is very important. The article “Cell Phones in School: 11 Reasons Why They Should Be Allowed” tells us, “Bringing cellphones in school increases the sense of safety of both students and parents. This is because there are some instances where they need to contact each other due to emergencies. Contacting parents mediated by school sometimes takes time so one of the best options is if the student can contact them directly.”. The concern in all schools should be children’s safety, and cell phones make it easier to ensure that everything can be taken care of efficiently, if something were to happen to a student. Many students also argue that cell phones are a useful learning tool, and can help get them through their assignments faster than traditional research methods. With the amount of work that kids get these days, working efficiently is very important. “Phones aren’t all about social media. They can also be useful for our education, and a great tool to accelerate our learning,” says Junior Tyler Wright. Taking away cell phones would also be taking away a learning tool for students. 

All sides of this debate can make compelling arguments, and can convince you to agree with that side, but this is one of those situations that varies per person. On one hand having a phone at school can diminish a students ability to focus, and can amplify things like cyberbullying. On the other hand, having cellphones in school can act as another safety method, and aid students in their studies. At the end of the day this debate boils down to what you believe is the highest priority. So what do you think, should students be allowed to have their cellphones in school?