Besides the obvious safety reason there can be a wide variety of reasons to allowing kids to have a cell phone in school. Below you will find a list as to why it may be beneficial to allow kids to have a cell phone in school.
- Parental contact. The amount of time it takes to reach a parent during an emergency can be significantly reduced if the child has a cell phone. Finding “Mom” or “Dad” listed on their contact list and making the call from the site of the emergency would be much quicker than having to notify the teacher or office and having them look the information up in their system.
- School closures. If there is a weather related emergency, and the school needs to close ,it would be a lot less hassle for the school, if the students could contact their parents themselves. It would be much faster than standing in line at a school phone or the secretary having to make calls or activate a calling tree.
- Scheduling. Most phones now have calendar options on them. This is an easy way for students to keep track of their assignments and upcoming tests. Since teenagers are never very far from their phones it would be easier for them to manage their work electronically, than trying to keep track on a piece of paper that could get lost or damaged.
- Research. Keeping students from surfing the web during class time could easily be managed by having a policy that they are turned off. This being said the internet on cell phones can be a useful tool for research on different projects.
- Reduced workload for secretarial staff. Parents can send messages in regards to being late or reminder for appointments via text message or voicemail to their children and thus eliminate or reduce the amount of messages being passed to students by the office.
- Emergencies. If there is an emergency at school that would require calling the police, fire or ambulance services the response time is much shorter for an observing student to use their cell phone rather than finding one at the school.
- Note taking. If a student is slow in taking notes from the board or projector they can use their in camera phone feature to take a picture of the notes, they didn’t catch, so as not to miss anything.
- Keeping tabs. Every parent’s worst nightmare is not knowing where your child is. Many cell phone providers now offer a tracking option that will allow you to locate where your child is (or the nearest cell phone tower). This way if the school calls and says your child is absent, and you cannot reach them, you are able to track them down to make sure they are safe.
- Forget something? Whether it is their lunch, soccer gear or homework assignment, we all know that kids will be kids and that forgetfulness is a part of human nature. Allowing kids to have a cell phone at school will make contacting parents much easier with a quick call or text during a break rather than having to get permission to go to the office to make a call that could take much longer if there is already a line waiting.
- Peace of mind. Knowing that you are able to reach your child at a moment’s notice will give any parent the peace of mind they need in order to send them out of the nest. After 9/11 we all tend to be more cautious and protective with our families and this is just another way to have that reassurance.
For those of us beyond age 30, we all remember life without a cell phone. Long lines at a pay phone, stress during emergencies on whether you can get to a phone in time and the pads of sticky notes getting lost where we wrote down our, much needed, information. Cell phones can be a distraction if left on during class but after reading the information listed above I hope to give you some insight into why a cell phone in school is not such a bad idea after all.