The question: The Carroll County school system is considering changes to its policy on the use of cell phones and other electronic communication devices. Students are allowed to carry them, but they must be turned off during the school day. The new policy would stiffen the consequences for violators and would spell out whether time on school buses is considered part of the school day. Do you think that students should be allowed to use cell phones and other communication devices while on school buses? Do you think that school administrators should be allowed to confiscate the phones when students violate the policy?
Students have real need for a cell phone
The Carroll County school system does not need to change the policy they have on cell phones, they just need to enforce it. We have a girl in high school and her cell phone has been a real asset when she has forgotten a meeting or practice is running late.
As far as talking on the phones on the bus, we believe that it is not any more disturbing than talking to a friend next to them. Again, it has come in handy when the bus has broken down so our students can keep in touch and let us know what's happening.
If a student violates the in-school rule, take the phone but let the student pick it up after school. If they miss the bus, they can call home for a ride.
Brad and Deanna Hieatzman Westminster
Only ban the devices when they disrupt
I really don't see a problem with the student-cell phone policy for the classroom that already exists, as long as it is applied consistently. Of course, I am assuming that a policy exists such that any electronic devices that disrupt class are confiscated and repeat violators are punished.
Let's keep this simple to understand for students and parents and easy to enforce by the teachers and administrators. If a teacher sees or hears a cell phone in their class, then it should be confiscated and held in the office until a parent comes to get it.
On the other hand, creating a cell phone policy for school buses is ridiculous. The last thing we need is for our bus drivers to become cell phone police. Drivers could not enforce a phone policy and operate the bus effectively and safely at the same time, so let's not make more rules that are unenforceable anyway.
The problem with student cell phone use in schools and on buses is no different than what adults face every day. The real problem is that these wonderful devices are nuisances and they are everywhere. I am frequently bothered by the weird ring tones and conversations in business meetings, church services and in many public places. So, if the adult society hasn't been able to solve this issue with policy, then what makes some people think that we should try it on our students?
Glenn Saffran Woodbine