Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cellphones in the Schools

This is an update to the this post from November: "Scary, Isn't it? (cellphones: teachers vs. students)"

At our recent faculty meeting, cellphone usage was once again brought up. We all know that cellphones are being used by students even though the policy states that they aren't to be used/on/visible during the school day. We went over the policies for discipline (1st-warning, 2nd-confiscate, 3rd-parents must pick phone up). After a few issues were discussed (future changes to the policy, perhaps?), we decided it was time to move on to other topics.
With all the talk on cellphones, the aspect of usage in the schools that was NEVER brought up, was the use of phones by staff and faculty during the day.
Are we being hypocritical? I can honestly tell you, that I am not. I'm truthfully blunt about my cellphone use during the day, and have never had a reason to confiscate a student's phone. If a student is expecting a call from parents (early dismissals, family member in the hospital, etc), I'll let them check for a missed call or voicemail. Cellphones have not caused a disruption in my orchestra rehearsals (and so help me, if they ever did), so I don't make a big deal out of it.

I leave you with this thought, and question: "Parents, teachers, students: How do you feel about your district's current policy on cellphone use during the day? Is it *fair*, and if not, what changes would you propose to fix it?"

p.s. I'd love to begin using Twitter as a notification system for some of my after-school string quartets (rehearsals cancelled, extra rehearsals, what we're working on, etc), but this issue must be addressed before I can invite students to use Twitter.

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