Should Students Have Access To Cell Phones During School?

Should Students Have Access To Cell Phones During School?

( – Once upon a time, parents would call their children’s administration offices or school resource officers if they needed to contact their children during school hours. Nowadays, with the rise of cell phones, they can get their kids directly in an emergency. However, some districts are cracking down on their use during school hours.

On November 25, The Washington Post’s Editorial Board published an op-ed piece defending school districts’ smartphone bans and calling on parents to help enforce them. Citing a recent advisory from the US surgeon general and a sprinkling of studies, the noted periodical cited the usual reasons for restricting the use of mobile devices in classrooms.

For instance, the op-ed cited a global study that found the “mere presence” of a smartphone in the proximity of students distracting them from learning. Other studies pointed to improvements in test scores among pupils attending schools that ban mobile devices. Likewise, researchers point to decreased social development among kids with cell phone access during school hours.

The Hill recently published an article discussing ongoing efforts to prevent cell phone use in schools and the emerging debate surrounding them. The report revealed that a number of schools are implementing stiff punishments, including suspension, for students caught using their phones, while others are making students lock away their devices for the day.

In favor of the bans, experts cite improved socioemotional learning in children attending schools prohibiting cell phones. For those unfamiliar with the term, “socioemotional learning” is an educational method aimed at providing children and young adults the building blocks for several essential characteristics. They include:

  • Making responsible decisions
  • Establishing and maintaining healthy relationships
  • Managing emotions
  • Developing healthy identities
  • Achieving personal and collective goals
  • Experiencing and showing empathy towards others

Clinical psychologist and author Roni Cohen-Sandler echoed those concerns. She told The Hill that the use of cell phones on school campuses has impeded students’ ability to develop problem-solving skills. Likewise, they aren’t “developing tolerance for frustration” and dealing with uncomfortable feelings.

However, the report from The Hill noted that there has been some division among families regarding the issue, as some parents want to be able to reach their children if necessary. In addition, technology in education expert Richard Culatta was reported by the outlet saying that schools should be focusing on teaching students how to use tech in healthy ways — not avoid it entirely.

What do you think? Should students have access to mobile phones during school hours?

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