Sunday, April 10, 2016

Smartphones at school are a dumb idea

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

I read your answer about not using smartphones at school. My daughter is a high school junior and there’s no way she wouldn’t use her phone or bring it with her. She schedules everything on it and calls her job on it. If I need her to go home and take the dog out, I can call her. Even her teachers will tell her to look info up on her phone. The whole class!

So I’m sorry to tell you this, but it’s unrealistic to ask that of students. I wouldn’t be able to enforce it.

Oh, and what about an emergency? With all the bombing going on in Europe and the Middle East?!

Signed, Yes-smartphones at school

Dear Yes,

Thank you for writing. We want more comments from our community regarding smartphones at school.

We believe today’s parents need to reign in the indulging privileges and entitlement they give the teenagers as they are not adults. It is a parents’ responsibility to teach their teen what is expected behavior for their safety and protection. You are the parent and you are responsible for your daughter.

As far as “the whole class” using their phones, it’s unfortunate that’s society entertains the belief that teachers should be asking that of their students for a couple of reasons:

• Not every student can afford a phone and that will draw attention to those students who will likely be bullied by someone at sometime for being different and poor.

• We have many teachers tell us about cheating in class and say they can’t stop it when so many phones are out and being used (even when told not to).

(On the other hand, we have had teachers object to our efforts to have phones at school because they don’t have the resources they need for their students at school. To be blunt, that’s not our problem.)

In fact, here are some statistics on cell phones at school:

The #1 reason students want phones at school is to cheat on quizzes and tests. (And don’t kid yourself – they’re very inventive at ways to avoid being caught.)

The #2 reason students want phones at school is because they get bored in class and so they play games or look up something amusing- this causes real distractions from learning and lowers the students’ learning. Texting also encourages “shorthand” which is the opposite of correct spelling and grammar (and don’t get us started on vocabulary).

The #3 reason students want phones is cyberbullying.

Over 80 percent of teens use a cell phone regularly, making it the most popular form of technology and a common medium for cyberbullying.

About half of young people have experienced some form of cyberbullying, and 10 to 20 percent experience it regularly.

More than 1 in 3 young people have experienced cyberthreats online.

Well over half of young people do not tell their parents when cyberbullying occurs.

Fewer than 1 in 5 cyber bullying incidents are reported to law enforcement.

About 1 in 5 teens have posted or sent sexually suggestive or nude pictures of themselves to others.

Hurtful comments, damaging lies, and spreading rumors are the most common type of cyberbullying students engage in at school.

Phones are not necessary for emergencies at schools. All schools have emergency policies and procedures in place for emergencies.

Phones are distracting and damaging tools for students’ mind, soul, and body.

Convenience isn’t a reason to have the students utilize their phones and it’s not worth the damage it causes our nation’s youth.

Signed, Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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