No Cell Phones In Schools
Well, it’s about time. In today’s Valley Breeze, Marcia Green tells about a new policy at Cumberland High and Middle schools that ban any use of handheld devices. The policy is based on one that was previously instituted in Warwick schools. The Cumberland schools used the first two weeks of the year to inform and remind both students and parents of the new policy. CHS Principal Dorothy Gould explains the policy succinctly, “If we see it or hear it, we’re going to ask for it.” The penalty is to lose the device for five days.
My first thought on the punishment was that it sounds a bit harsh. Five days? Why not give it back at the end of the day? But on second thought, there isn’t much “risk” in the “risk vs. reward” equation. If the risk is to lose the device for five days, including nights, that might make someone think twice about bringing it into the school or at least into sight of a teacher.
Of course, the policy isn’t without its opponents either.
Gould said five families have “raised a big, big stink by arguing, fallaciously, we can’t keep them overnight. Or they say, ‘My kid is a good kid so you should do something differently for my kid.'”
Two of the cases are even arguing this to the superintendent, who completely supports the policy.
Some parents try to argue that they need to keep in touch with their children during the school day. I don’t quite understand that one. They’re at school, they’re learning, if something comes up that you need to know about, the school will call.
Then there was also a woman who posted in a Facebook group about her son having a health “emergency” at the school. He was vomiting. She said the school tried to get in touch with her by phone, but her employer doesn’t allow her to receive phone calls. Being aware of this, the son texted his mother to let her know what was going on. The son lost his cell phone as well and the mother isn’t happy. Does this situation smell fishy to anyone else? How does her employer prevent her from taking calls during the day, even in an “emergency”, but she can accept text messages? I just don’t get some parents.
So I would like to take this time to congratulate the Cumberland Superintendent Phil Thornton and the school principals on adopting this policy. School time is learning time and the other eighteen hours of the day can be used for cell phone time.