We’ve all heard it: someone forgetting to plug in their headphones before blasting their music in the middle of class. Sometimes the teacher takes the student’s phone away, but most times the only punishment they receive is a frown. Normally when a student uses their phone in class, it only affects their own performance, but in this situation the entire class is distracted from their work.
The Kalamazoo Public Schools policy on cell phones is that they are prohibited during the school day. It also states, “if the device is found to be a disruption, it will be confiscated by staff,” yet only a few teachers actually follow through.
Sometimes taking the students’ phones away causes even more trouble when they argue, refuse to hand over their phone, or get their parents involved. The more this happens, the less likely a teacher is to take anyone’s phone away, no matter how disruptive it is. This is why all students should have the responsibility to put their phone away before a teacher even has to ask them to. It would cause less trouble for themselves and for others.
Cell phones have no place in the classroom. You could say that they are good research tools, but most of the students that are using phones in class aren’t reading, instead choosing to Snapchat selfies to their friends or scroll through their Facebook feed. If all students actually used their phones as research tools, it would make sense to allow them to use phones in class, but students that actually do are few and far between. Even if a teacher allows them to use their phones to look up answers for an assignment, some students wouldn’t do the assignment at all, because they’d rather be on Facebook.
You could also say that allowing cell phones in class is important in case of an emergency or if you need to call your parents, but this is not a strong argument considering there is a phone in almost every classroom and office in the building for you to use if something were to happen.
We don’t need to get rid of cell phones altogether, because they are a wonderful tool, but please, for your sake and everyone else’s, turn them off and put them inside your backpack until the bell rings.