Saturday, May 13, 2006

Cell Phone Madness

How in the world did we ever survive without a cell phone when we were in school? The kids now days will never get to find out, because almost everyone has one. Well, almost everyone. Seems that NYC has put a ban on those phones, and it didn't set too well with the kids or their parents.

The kids argue that they need them for parents to keep up with them (in school??) because of 9-11. Others contend that the phones are here now; why not use them?

I never remember a time, when I was in school, that I ever needed a phone. If there was an emergency, then, your parent got hold of you through the office. Or, if it was you that needed your parent because of an emergency at school, you went to the office and called your parent; simple as that! My two children made it through school without a cell phone, as well. I got a few phone calls from school, but not many that really were emergencies.

My two teenage grandchildren and all their friends have cell phones. They have them because they drive and their Mom wants to be able to keep in touch with them when they are away from home. Kids now days are into so many activities, or they work in the afternoons. They do take them to school, but they are not allowed to have them during school hours. They are either in their cars, or in their lockers, turned off until the last bell rings. I think they've done okay without one in their pocket, in their hand, or to their ear, during the school hours. They have occasionally had to call their Mom at her work because of sickness or getting hurt at school, requiring Mom to come and take them to the doctor. But, they've done the calling on a school phone in the office.

Parents have written angry letters and e-mails, staged rallies and news conferences, and threatened to sue. Some City Council members are introducing legislation on their behalf.

But Mayor Michael Bloomberg and schools Chancellor Joel Klein have staunchly refused to drop the ban. They insist cell phones are a distraction and are used to cheat, take inappropriate photos in bathrooms, and organize gang rendezvous. They are also a top stolen item.

Many schools throughout the United States have rules on the cell phone. Some let them have them, but for use only during lunch breaks. Detroit bans cell phones, and a two-time violater will not get the phone back. I think, in my granchildren's high school, if you are caught with a phone during school hours, it is no longer your phone.

But, some kids are not following rules; in fact, they don't like rules as much as they love their cell phones. So, they find ways to sneak them into their school, and some are very inventive! The only way cell phones will ever be kept completely out of the school is to have a metal detector at every door, and I don't see that happening. But, I do believe cell phones are not for school, under any circumstance, just as they shouldn't be out in the open in your work area. Turn them off; put them away - life goes on without a cell phone!

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Steve Sensenig said...

I think you've hit on a more general truth in man's way of thinking. Something is non-existent, then it gets invented, then it becomes a luxury, then it becomes a necessity.

Very interesting (and rather disturbing) that kids now think they need a cellphone. Whenever our 13-year-old son says that he "needs" a cellphone (he's been asking for one for several years), we generally just laugh and say, "Ha! You don't need a cellphone" at which point he gets upset and leaves the room, not to mention it again for several months! ;)

steve :)

Carol said...

Well, this is an interesting topic. My daughter's school allows cell phones, but they must not ring or be used during class times. So, the kids keep them on vibrate and make calls in the halls. So funny!

Until recently, I've refused to allow my teenager a cell phone. Some things have happened this school year that have changed my thinking, though. If she pulls off straight-A's again this year, she gets one in June. Mostly for my own peace of mind. No, they didn't have them before, but if I can avoid the types of situations we faced this past year, get that child a phone!

Barbara said...

I see nothing wrong with responsible teens having a cell phone. There are times when they really need them, and it also helps you keep up with them.

My daughter has been known to take away the cell phone for different reasons, for a period of time. :) But,with kids on the road now days, they need a phone. Her kids went to the store with permission and had a wreck coming home. The only way she found out was through a cell phone call from her son.