Point-Counterpoint: Should Cell Phones Be Banned?

Cell Phones Should be Banned

by Joey Cook

Allowing the use of cellphones during school hours at North Attleboro High School creates a lot of problems. Cell phones are allowed during passing time, during lunch, and occasionally during class with teacher permission. Some students believe that they should be allowed during class no matter what because it is considered an “academic tool,” while others believe that they are a distraction to students, and a tool to cheat on school work. While there are some students who use it as an academic tool, the majority of students go beyond that and use it for detrimental purposes.  

First off, using cell phones during class is very disrespectful towards teachers. With just 49 minutes to teach the class, teachers need every moment of their students’ attention. When a teacher sees a student on a cell phone, it not only makes them feel like they are not doing a good job, but it interrupts their lesson and stops the lesson’s progress.

Cell phones can also serve as a major distraction for students. When a student has a cell phone out during class, they are focused on that and not the material being taught. This means that when tests come around there are students who ask for clarification on material that has already been reviewed in class. This is not only a waste of their time, but of their teacher’s time as well.

Cell phones are also used by students as a tool to cheat. All it takes is one student to Google an answer and share it with the class. Cell phones take away from actually having to pay attention and jot down notes. Some kids use their phones for applications like Quizlet and Edmodo, but allowing cell phones for some things and not others is difficult to enforce.

Senior Andrew Laplante said, “I have witnessed kids in the back of my class during a test take a phone out and Google the answers. That is ridiculous and something has to be changed.”

While it would be a difficult process to ban all cell phone use during school, it is worth the effort. Using cell phones in class shows teachers disrespect, undermines their authority and gives those who cheat an unfair advantage. Getting rid of cell phones might even the playing field a little bit and hold students accountable for their learning.

Cell Phones an Under-utilized Tool

by Patrick Silvia

The rise of cell phone popularity and power has introduced a serious debate in education, and in particular NAHS. The official policy is that cell phones are allowed during passing period, break, and lunch time only. Any other use is up to teacher discretion, but many teachers at North do not allow cell phone usage at all. This is in spite of the fact that many students have smartphones, which have many programs and functions that could make the education process more interactive and meaningful. Cell Phones should be allowed in school because of the benefits it provides for research, as well as allowing students to communicate important information to classmates and family members. 

The benefit of using phones in the classroom is that phones are convenient and quick research devices. Senior Bryan Harris said, “I was not allowed to use my cell phone in class even when I was trying to research the topic we were learning about.” Being able to research on cell phones provides help for struggling students immediately. This saves both students and teachers time, and provides students the ability to problem solve instead of having to rely on their busy teachers. 

Using cell phones for communication is also important to students because while in school students might need to know things from people outside of school, like a parent, guardian or a close relative. Sophomore Dylan Kane said, “Some days when I try to contact my parents, I can’t. If my teachers let me use my phone it would make life a lot easier.” There could be a family situation that could affect a student’s life and they might not be able to know what’s going on if a teacher doesn’t let students use their cell phones. This leave some students in the dark when it comes to important information. 

Finally, cell phones allow students who are unable to be in the same location to still work together. This is important for group assignments in order to communicate who is responsible for what, or to provide clarification on due dates. Because of this, students should be able to use cell phones during SLPs in order to stay productive. 

The cell phone is one of our generations best inventions and is under-utilized in our school system today. Instead of using its communication function and ability to research to enhance a student’s knowledge on a subject, our school system shuns them and makes them seem like devices that inhibit our ability to learn.

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