This is going to make me very unpopular with the youth of western Pennsylvania and particularly the students the Ambrigde School District.
Right now, the district is CONSIDERING a ban on students having cell phones on campus. Administrators say the students use these phones to text and send pictures, some obscene in nature, as well as cheating on tests by having the answers “texted” to them.
Students, as you might imagine, are taking the other view on this. They find the policy restrictive and some believe it puts them in danger. Their contention? What do we do in case there is an emergency at home or involving our parents? They need to be able to get a hold of us. One student Channel 4 Action News reporter Sheldon Ingram spoke with says she is a diabetic and its just easier to contact her mom directly than going to the nurse and making a call.
OK, I am over 40 but I am not so old that I can’t remember what school was like before cell phones. If my parents needed to get a hold of me, they would call the school office and the office would call down to my room and I would go from there. No cell phone involved. No cell phone needed. Why can’t we use that system today? Last I checked, cell phones and texting were no faster than making a call to the school.
I’m going to say this: THERE IS NO REASON A STUDENT IN SCHOOL NEEDS A CELL PHONE. If there is an emergecny, there’s only place the police, the fire department or your parents are going to find you … and that is at school. If you’re not at school, then there is a problem because you are someplace you shouldn’t be.
Look, I know cell phones and blackberrys have become our third appendage and goodness knows I take it everywhere – even to the set. Still, you don’t need to text your friend between classes or during class. You don’t need to hop on-line every five seconds for the latest news. You don’t need it guys. Leave it at home. Leave it in your locker. Just leave it out of class.
Want to contact a friend during class? Pass a note. Better yet, don’t talk to the other students in class. Focus on class for 50 minutes. There will be plenty of time to talk and text with your friends.
Also, don’t worry about being able to be reached for that possible emergency. If you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing, mom and dad will know where to find you.