Gaertner 1Alex GaertnerDr. DiSarroENG 101- Section 122 April 2012 Cell Phone Usage during the School Day As time goes on, technology becomes more and more advanced. Along with theseadvancements come problems in society. Cell phones are one technological device that havebecome incredibly popular. The majority of people in today’s society own cell phones. Themore advanced cell phones become the more time people spend on them. Texting is a world-wide phenomenon andteens especially have become increasingly attached to their cell phones.They have a constant need to be using them all hours of the day. This has become an issuewithin school systems. Schools have to take action against the use of cell phones because of themany problems they are creating. Cell phone usage should be banned during the school daybecause of the underlying problems they cause in bullying, cheating, distractions and safety. Some people believe students should be able to carry their cell phones on them duringthe school day. It is argued that students should be able to have them so that they can contacttheir parents or other authorities at the time of an emergency. Some parents like the idea ofbeing able to immediately and directly reach their child all hours of the day. According to thearticle, “Schools Re-examine Cell Phone Policies” written by Jake Russell, a writer for theJacksonville Journal-Courierone school believes their students can have access to cell phonesduring lunch and free periods because they are not disrupting the learning environment. The
Gaertner 2school board argued this was a way to let the students communicate with parents as well aslimit the temptation of the students using them during class. The principal stated that notforcing them to part with their cell phones the entire day would decrease their use at moreimportant times of the day (1). Although this may seem like a good point, it is not the case.Allowing students access to cell phones at any point during the day still comes with otherconsequences. Problems that occur from students using their cell phones when they are not inclass include, increased and easier cyber bullying as well as issues with student safety. Cyber bullying and bullying in general have been significantly increase throughout thepast couple years. The development to new technologies and instant access to them has amajor impact on this increase. Having access to cell phones during school allows students toimmediately cyber bully someone. If there were a fight occurring in the hallway, one studentcould easily take a photo or video and upload it to the internet or send it in a text message tosomeone encouraging other people to come join in or watch. Not only does this immediatelyaffect the situation, cyber accounts of this event are now available for more torture andhumiliation. A student could upload video footage to a site like Facebook and then anyonecould see it and comment on it. Once uploaded the footage is forever available to the wholeworld to see. This incident could cause significant impairment of the bullied student’s self-esteem and could make them a target for even more bullying. Justin W. Patchin, an associateprofessor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin participated in astudy about cyber bullying and published his findings in his article entitled, “Cyberbullying andSelf-Esteem” and found that it is a growing problem that has a direct relationship with student’sself-esteem. He says cyber bullying has been becoming much more evident because, “it seems
Gaertner 3much easier to be cruel and malicious through a text message, e-mail, posted photo or video, oranother form of digital harassment because of the physical distance separating the offenderand the victim” (2). Having immediate access to these digital devices is only aiding in theproblem and making it even easier. Patchin also says, “educators need to intervene incyberbullying incidents, as failure to do so may impact the ability of students to be successful atschool” (1). It is important that school systems take action against this problem and try to doanything they can to prevent it. Banning cell phone usage during the school day will help tosignificantly reduce this problem because it limits the ability of students to take anembarrassing picture or video of another student. Another major issue associated with cell phones in class is easier means of cheating.Students can easily hide their cell phones in their laps and browse the internet for answers totests. They could also take a picture of answers or notes beforehand and then access themduring the test. If cell phones were banned from schools and had to be kept off and awayduring the day this problem could be completely eliminated. Reggie Clinton, superintendent ofthe Beardstown school district speaks of his opinion on an effect of allowing cell phone usageduring school in Jake Russell’s article, “Phones with cameras, for example, can be used to takepictures of testing materials that could be sent to other students…’The more frequently theyregoing to be available in the classroom, the more the teaching staff will have to be really on theirtoes,’ Clinton said. ‘You have to make sure you really have things monitored if theyre going tobe readily available’ (1). If students are allowed access to their phones during the day it wouldmake it incredibly challenging for the teacher to have to closely monitor every student to makesure they weren’t using their device.
Gaertner 4 Cell phones cause a major distraction during class by taking the students attention awayfrom the teacher. Students are more interested in texting and surfing the web during class thanlistening to the lecture. Akash Bargaria, a writer for the current events section in the WeeklyReader, believes students should not be allowed to carry their cell phones throughout the day.He says, “Cell phones can be a major distraction and impair student learning” (1). Because ofthis, teachers and school authorities are taking action to implement punishment for using thesedevices throughout the school day. Students should not be able to have their cell phones withthem during the day. There is no reason to on them while at school. With immediate access tosuch devices students will text friends, search the web, or play games all throughout the dayand not pay any attention to what is happening in class.
Gaertner 5 ReferencesBagaria, A. (2011). NO CELL BEFORE THE BELL!.Current Events, 111(7), 7.Patchin, J., &Hinduja, S. (2010). Cyberbullying and Self-Esteem.Journal Of School Health, 80(12), 614-621. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00548.xRussell, J. (2011, August 20). Schools re-examine cellphone policies. Jacksonville Journal-Courier (IL).