Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Cellphones In Schools - My Opinion

The most heated arguments in the New York City Schools is whether the students should be allowed to have cellphones in the school. School authorities have banned cellphones because of its abuse by students. Cellphones have been used to cheat on tests, take pictures of girls undressing in the locker room, drug transactions, organizing gang fights, and distrupting classroom learning. Moreover, there has been a rise in school crime due to the thefts of ipods and cellphones. However, most parents think its a terrible idea for New York City to ban cellphones in schools. Since 9/11 parents claim that they are very concerned that their children are safe. Too bad that concern doesn't extend to open school night when the parents fail to show up or when you contact them about their child's academics or behaviour. Despite my skepticism of parents they are right, students should have the right to cellphones in school. However, they should be hidden and off/vibrate. Many students need to contact parents after school or during after school activites. it's also a real piece of mind for parents knowing where their child is.

What should be the consequences be for a cellphone going off or being used in school?

First, automatic confiscation of the cellphone and a parent retrival. parents hate to go to school to pick up cellphones in my school. I'm sure its the same everywhere.

Second, follow the first procedure and add a 3-5 day after school detention penalty. Any student who does not show up to after school detetion is given two extra days of after school detention for every day missed. Historically, students hate after school detention and will do anything to avoid it.

Third, add a two week suspension and loss of team or club privilages for the season. Of course after they finished completing procedure two again.

Finally, if the student continues to flaunt the cellphone rules, the student is given a long-term suspension (home instruction) and an involuntary transfer to another school if possible.

Sounds simple, its not. In New York City the Department Of Education tends to ignore or not enforce student discipline codes. Therefore, administrators and school safety officials are reluclent to take away cellphones. Consequently, teachers are left to try to enforce the rules without school support. The result, many teachers just give up and hope the cellphones don't cause too much disruption in the classroom. In my opinion the cellphone ban must stay in place unless and until the school student disciplines codes are enforced.


NYC Educator said...

It's kind of depressing reading this, particularly the parts about lack of support among administration, but you're right of course.

I've had a little luck with my administration lately, but if I hadn't, I'd focus any and all enforcement on my own classroom.

Actually, since that's where I spend the bulk of my time, that's probably what I'll do anyway.

no_slappz said...

The cell phone ban is bureaucracy at work.

The ban does not affect student behavior. It does not address the impact of disruptive students. It merely confiscates a harmless device, as though the device is the cause of the problem.

Another piece of monopolistic, bureaucratic thinking put into action.