Schools and parents disagree with student cell phone bans

More and more schools in the United States are limiting the number of students who can use their mobile phones. Educators say phones are distracting and prevent children from learning.

But some parents disagree and are rejecting the policy.

Device bans increased before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since schools reopened, struggles with student behavior and mental health have given some schools even more reason to restrict use.

parental rejection

During the time of online learning, parents had constant access to their children. Some have not wanted to give up that access. Others say they fear losing contact with their children if there is a shooting at the school.

With more debate over how topics like race are taught in schools, some parents are also seeing phone restrictions as a way to keep them out of their kids‘ education.

Shannon Moser has students in eighth and ninth grade Grades in Rochester, New York. She said she felt parents were being pushed aside when the local school system locked up students’ phones. She noted that many parents on both sides of the political divide feel the same way.

“Everything is so politicized, so divisive. And I think that parents are just generally afraid of what happens with their children during the day,” Moser said. The Associated Press. Is there a way to responsibilitysaid, when students can record what is happening around them.

Washington Junior High School students leaving class for the day use the unlock mechanism to open the bags they sealed their cell phone in during the school day, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic )

Washington Junior High School students leaving class for the day use the unlock mechanism to open the bags they sealed their cell phone in during the school day, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic )

increasing restrictions

The National Center for Education Statistics found that about 65 percent of public schools banned mobile phones in 2015. For the 2019-2020 school year, restrictions were in place in 76 percent of schools. And the states of California and Tennessee recently passed laws allowing schools to ban phones.

Now, educators see the need to prevent students from being distracted. During the pandemic, many students experienced learning loss.

Liz Keren-Kolb is a professor of educational technologies at the University of Michigan. She said school officials may feel they might restrict mobile devices due to parental concerns about high amounts of screen time during the pandemic. But she said there’s a wide range of parental views on the subject.

“You still have the parents who want to have that direct line of communication,” he said. But I think there is more than one empathy and an understanding that your child can put away their devices so they can really approach about learning in the classroom.

In western Pennsylvania, the Washington School District began banning cell phones this year because educators considered them a distraction.

Students were on their phones in the hallways and at the lunch tables. Some called home or answered calls in the middle of a class, said high school teacher Treg Campbell.

The head of the school system, George Lammay, said the ban was the right choice. He said the ban was to keep students focused on school, “not try to limit their contact with families.”

In some cases, parental rejection has led to policy changes.

In the Brush school district in Colorado, cell phones were banned after teachers raised concerns about bullying. When parents backed down, the school system held a community meeting and the majority opposed the ban. Parents said they wanted their children to have access to their phones.

The policy was changed to allow phones on school grounds. But they must be turned off and put away. The school also said it would allow some students to use their phones for special reasons.

“There isn’t a intention say that cell phones are bad,” Wilson said. Instead, it’s “‘How do we handle this in a way that makes sense to everyone?'”

Kolb said there is no perfect answer for phones in schools.

“It’s really about making sure we’re educating students and parents about habits with their digital devices,” he said.

I’m Dan Novak.

Dan Novak adapted this story for VOA Learning English according to a report by The Associated Press.

Quiz: Schools and parents disagree on student cell phone bans

Quiz: Schools and parents disagree on student cell phone bans

Start the Quiz to find out

______________________________________________________________________

words in this story

distract — v. make you stop thinking or paying attention to someone or something and think or pay attention to someone or something else instead

access — no. a way of approaching, to, or something or someone

qualification — no. a level of study that is completed by a student over a year

politicize — v. engage with politics in a way that makes people less likely to agree

little boy— no. a young person

responsible – adj. forced to be responsible for something

empathy — no. the feeling that you understand and share the experiences and emotions of another person

approach — v. to direct your attention or effort to something specific

bully — no. someone who scares, hurts, or threatens smaller or weaker people

intention — v. what you plan to do or achieve

habit — no. a habitual way of behaving

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *