Some Massachusetts schools, including Dartmouth High, are banning cell phones in the classroom, but not everyone agrees, and they have their reasons.
Yes, in a few weeks the school year will begin and parents, as well as teachers, have a lot to consider when it comes to what is best for their children’s education.
Schools across the country are starting to crack down on cell phone use in the classroom and many are going a step further and requiring students to hand over their cell phones before going to class.
That will be the case at Dartmouth High starting this fall when students will be asked to put their cell phones away at the start of each class in what the school calls a “cell hotel.” Assistant Principal Ryan Shea unveiled the plan at the most recent School Committee meeting.
“Students sign in and drop off their phone” before class starts, he said, noting that students would still be available in case of a family emergency and could use their phones for specific learning tasks when authorized by teachers.
“Every time we get an alert, every time we get a text message, every time we get a buzz, our eyes wander from our learning, and that’s the reason for the policy,” Shea said.
The move is also designed to reduce students’ anxiety about everything they do being recorded and shared by their peers, Shea added.
Mobile phones have become quite a distraction. Let’s be honest. You’re probably in one right now.
I reached out to a SouthCoast teacher to find out what she thought about cell phones.
“Bans don’t work,” said Kristy Dupuis, a local middle and high school teacher, which I can believe since it’s human nature to do what you’re told you can’t. “It’s more about setting expectations and management in the different school spaces.”
At Dartmouth, students who break the new no-phone classroom rule will be required to attend a “later session” five minutes after the first offense, 30 minutes after the second offense and 60 minutes after the third offense. A fourth offense will trigger a parent conference, Shea said.
I was happy to have a mother’s perspective. Acushnet’s Bethany Jay said, “My kids go to a school where cell phones are not allowed. And I love it.”
I wish cell phones weren’t allowed at work; It’s been a serious distraction. So she would agree with Jay up to a point.
Many people agree that cell phones have now also become a tool for education, with a wealth of knowledge at our children’s fingertips.
It’s hard to say what’s right here. I’d love to hear her thoughts on this.
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