The Department of Education is going to review its stance on a cellphone ban in city schools. Cellphones have been banned in the classroom since 1988, but some parents are complaining that their children need cellphones for emergencies. Mayor Bloomberg got into the act, by noting the NJ girl who sent thousands of text messages during school (costing her parents over $1,000), and said in his radio show:
Surprise, surprise. If you spend your time e-mailing all your friends and not learning, what do you think? I think they are such a detriment...distraction is the word I'm looking for, let's focus on what that wonderful teacher at the front of the room is trying to teach you, rather than trying to surf the 'Net or e-mail your friends at the back of the room.
According to the NY Post article, parents and advocates have been trying to get cellphones back into students' hands, but Gothamist is suspicious that some of these cellphone-in-school advocates are representatives from cell service providers. And what of the public school kids who admit to using their cellphones to cheat on tests, from texting for answers to taking pictures of the test and emailing it to friends? Having parents contact the school to get in touch with their kids worked totally fine for the first few hundred years of kids being educated in public schools.
What do you think of cellphone use during school classes? We know that some professors fine students if their phones go off in class. Maybe kids should dump their cellphones into a bin upon entering a class to ensure they aren't using them.