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Cell Phone Usage During the School Day


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Cell Phone Usage During the School Day

  1. 1. Running Head: Cell Phone Usage 1 Cell Phone Usage during the School Day Alexandra E. Gaertner Endicott College
  2. 2. Cell Phone Usage 2 Have you ever been to a presentation where you could not stay focused because theperson next to you was texting, or using some sort of technological device? As time goes on,technology becomes more and more advanced. Along with these advancements come problemsin society. Cell phones are one technological device that has become incredibly popular. Themajority of people in today‟s society own cell phones. The more advanced cell phones becomethe more time people spend on them. Texting is a world-wide phenomenon andteens especiallyhave become increasingly attached to their cell phones. They have a constant need to be usingthem all hours of the day. This has become an issue within school systems.Through the voice ofthree credible writers (ethos) it is apparent that schools have to take action against the use of cellphones because of the many problems they are creating. The opposition, students and someparents, believes cell phones will help keep a connection between students and parents in case ofan emergency, but there are other ways to amend this. Cell phone usage should be banned duringthe school day because of the underlying problems they cause in bullying, cheating, distractions,and safety. Some students believe they should be able to carry their cell phones on them during theschool day. Students and some other parents and administrators argue that students should beable to have them so that they can contact their parents or other authorities at the time of anemergency. Cell phones are not the answer to this problem. There are many ways for students tobe in contact if there were some sort of emergency occurring. For example, parents canconstantly call the school and have the office get a hold of their child if they need to talk to them.Also instead of having the students carry their cell phones the school board could set upemergency call phones in various locations around the campus for students to use in case of an
  3. 3. Cell Phone Usage 3emergency. These phones will only be used to make phone calls therefore avoiding all the otherdistractions, texting or surfing the web, that come with cell phones. Some parents like the idea of being able to immediately and directly reach their child allhours of the day. According to the article, “Schools Re-examine Cell Phone Policies” written byJake Russell, a writer for the Jacksonville Journal-Courier,one school believes their students canhave access to cell phones during lunch and free periods because they are not disrupting thelearning environment. The school board argued this was a way to let the students communicatewith parents, as well as limit the temptation of the students using them during class. Theprincipal stated that not forcing them to part with their cell phones the entire day would decreasetheir use at more important times of the day (p. 1). Although this may seem like a good point, itis not the case. Allowing students access to cell phones at any point during the day still comeswith other consequences. Problems that occur from students using their cell phones when theyare not in class include increased and easier cyber bullying, as well as issues with student safety. Cyber bullying, the use of the internet and other technologies to harass others, andbullying in general,have been significantly increasing throughout the past couple years. Thedevelopment to new technologies and instant access to them has a major impact on this increase.Having access to cell phones during school allows students to immediately cyber bully someone.If there were a fight occurring in the hallway, one student could easily take a photo or video andupload it to the internet, or send it in a text message to someone, encouraging other people tocome join in or watch. Not only does this immediately affect the situation, cyber accounts of thisevent are now available for more torture and humiliation. A student could upload video footageto a site like Facebook and then anyone could see it and comment on it. Once uploaded thefootage is forever available to the whole world to see. This incident could cause significant
  4. 4. Cell Phone Usage 4impairment of the bullied student‟s self-esteem and could make them a target for even morebullying. Justin W. Patchin, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at theUniversity of Wisconsin, conducted in a study about cyber bullying and published his findings inhis article entitled, “Cyberbullying and Self-Esteem.” He found that it is a growing problem thathas a direct relationship with student‟s self-esteem. For example, after receiving a malicious text,“you‟re a disgrace to the school and we would be happier without you”, for instance, a studentmight start believing those words and feeling less confident. Patchin says cyber bullying hasbeen becoming much more evident because, “it seems much easier to be cruel and maliciousthrough a text message, e-mail, posted photo or video, or another form of digital harassmentbecause of the physical distance separating the offender and the victim” (p. 2). Havingimmediate access to these digital devices is only aiding in the problem and making it even easier.Patchin also says, “Educators need to intervene in cyberbullying incidents, as failure to do somay impact the ability of students to be successful at school” (p. 1). It is important that schoolsystems take action against this problem and try to do anything they can to prevent it. Banningcell phone usage during the school day will help to significantly reduce this problem because itlimits the ability of students to take an embarrassing 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 them duringthe test. If cell phones were banned from schools and had to be kept off and away during the day,this problem could be completely eliminated. Reggie Clinton, superintendent of the Beardstownschool district, speaks of his opinion on an effect of allowing cell phone usage during school in,
  5. 5. Cell Phone Usage 5“Phones with cameras, for example, can be used to take pictures of testing materials that couldbe sent to other students…„The more frequently [cell phones are] going to be available in theclassroom, the more the teaching staff will have to be really on their toes… you have to makesure you really have things monitored if theyre going to be readily available‟ (quoted in Russellp. 1). If students are allowed access to their phones during the day it would make it incrediblychallenging for the teacher to have to closely monitor every student to make sure they were notusing their device. This would lead to a negative change in the learning environment. Theteacher would have to take up a bigger role enforcing policies andit would ultimately take theteacher away from their primary role and the amount of learning that is accomplished would besignificantly lower. 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. Hesays, “Cell phones can be a major distraction and impair student learning” (p. 1). Because of this,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 day andnot pay any attention to what is happening in class. Cell phones are a technological device created for social advancements. They are notmeant to be intertwined with the learning environment. Cell phones used during the school dayare an opportunity for distraction and increased bullying. Other means of communication should
  6. 6. Cell Phone Usage 6be set up by school authorities to eliminate the need for students to have them. Banning cellphones from schools would put the focus back on learning and make schools a more productiveand safe environment.
  7. 7. Cell Phone Usage 7 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).