Like many of you, I am sure, I have spent hours and hours in staff meetings discussing cell phones. This was not an issue 20 years ago. Some schools have abandoned ship and simply allow students to use their phones at their own discretion. Others claim that there are ways to make the phones into a useful tool, and I have explored some of the apps that have been developed. Then there’s the strategy that allows them during transitions and lunch. And then there are still efforts at zero tolerance. NYC, for a while, simply didn’t allow them in schools.
I don’t know what the answer is. I do know that the conversations and monitoring time are exhausting. The time spent on them seems way out of proportion. Ideally, I’d like students to have self-control and to be able to demonstrate discretion. If they don’t have it, is high school too late to teach it?
Confiscating phones gets complicated and creates tension. Then there are liability issues that attend these increasingly essential and sometimes expensive devices.
So. . . what to do? How can/ should parents help? What is your school’s cell phone policy? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
Then there’s the issue of teachers and their (in)appropriate use of cell phones.