Revisiting the Cell Phone Ban In NYC schools.

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Here is an article on the CNN site about the cellphone ban in New York City schools. While this is a departure from our discussion of civil rights, many parents and students feel it is their “right” to keep in touch with their kids in school in case of personal emergencies and public emergencies like the September 11th attacks. Let read the article and I ask you to weigh in (give your opinion) and talk about the proposed cellphone lockers outside school buildings as a solution.

Here is the Article.

EDUCATION with Student News

POSTED: 3:48 p.m. EST, January 3, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) — After months of outrage over a ban on cell phones in the nation’s largest school system, officials are now signaling that there may be room for compromise.

They are exploring whether to install special lockers outside schools to store the devices, a development that delayed recent court arguments on the ban.

But questions remain about the logistics of such a system in a school district with so many students — and so many students who use cell phones.

“I wish it would work, but I just know it won’t,” said Dorothy Giglio, a co-president of the Parent Teacher Association at James Madison High School. “I have almost 4,300 students in my building. I cannot envision 4,300 lockers in front of the building.”

The locker proposal follows New York’s move last year to step up its scrutiny of what gets in and out of schools — a move aimed primarily at finding weapons. Along the way, schools confiscated thousands of student cell phones. Students have responded by sneaking phones inside their lunches and under their clothes. Students also sometimes pay neighborhood stores small fees to hold their phones for them during the school day.

Parents insist they need to stay in touch with their children in case of emergencies like September 11. They have sued the city over the ban, and sent dozens of angry e-mails to officials.

School officials, as well as Mayor Michael Bloomberg, argue that cell phones are a distraction and could be used for nefarious purposes, including cheating.

New York has more than 1,400 schools and 1.1 million students.

The school system said that if it decides to install lockers, students will probably be charged for their use, perhaps a quarter or 50 cents each time.

“We’re trying to make a real effort to be responsive to parents who felt that we were not concerned about their ability to reach their kids and their kids’ ability to reach them while at the same time not compromising on our commitment not to let cell phones in the school doors,” schools spokesman David Cantor said.

So what do you think?

11 responses

  1. Eric

    I think that cellphones do not belong in school
    because say if you are in the middle of class and
    the cellphone can go off and it can cause a big
    disruption and you can lose it and sombody will
    find it and say that it is there and that can tern into
    a big fight or it can get broken or stolen.

    January 4, 2007 at 3:46 pm

  2. mark

    I think that it is really stupid because how are we going to get in touch with our family?
    I also think that it is dumb because what if it is a emergency then what if some body died in some ones family. I feel that students should have cell phones in school but they should have it on vibrate. What about teachers, are not they a distraction too.
    If kids cannot have them then neither should the teachers . I think the idea of lockers outside of school is not a good way to solve this problem. Because somebody could be hurt in our family and we still would not know because our phones are in the lockers.
    The rule should be the same for kid and teachers if our phones are locked up so should there phones be locked up.

    January 4, 2007 at 3:52 pm

  3. james

    I think there should be cellphones to school because there might be an accident in school or
    get hit by a car on the way to school. My mom gave me a cellphone for emergencies calls only.
    I use it for a lot of stuff. My brother has one and my sister has one too. My brother is five years
    old and he knows how to us it a lot. my sister knows too. I think someone can steal a cell phone from a locker if it is outside. They should have an alarm on the lockers if someone else opens it.
    I would make the lockers inside. I think cellphones are like computers. they can do a lot of things. I have a tracphone motorolla. It is a small phone. My mom bought three of the same phones for me my brother and sister. Sometimes cellphones are a distaction to kids in school.

    January 4, 2007 at 3:53 pm

  4. Well I am so much of two minds about this issue. I don’t know if I buy the bit about staying in touch with your kids, or at least that argument is secondary to me. However, as someone who sees the face of education turning on technology and the immediate access of information, and cellphones in the very near future becoming the dominant tool used to access information. I am not sure banning an item that could be used to instruct students and help them gain skills that will be necessary to function in the “information age is all that wise.

    Maybe we should begin to examine how these new technologies should be used in classrooms constructively.
    I know that this is far-reaching idea and does not solve the issue at hand which is one of good manners and control.
    No one would have a problem with cellphones if students exercised good manners. On the other hand if schools were not so focused on “control” and gave studetns some power, trusted them to act appropriately this would not be as hot an issue.

    I will be interested to see how this plays out. As a teacher there are too many distractions in school already, but the same could be said of the internet in school, the internet can be a distraction or a great teaching tool depending on how it is used

    January 4, 2007 at 3:54 pm

  5. Justin K.

    It is not fair because cell phones are the future. How can we call our parents if something bad happens. If students try to cheat, then they should have a program to block the bad programs. Don’t let them abuse what they have and ruin the privilege they have been given. Make sure they use it for education not for other purposes. That’s why I do not agree at all with taken away the cellphones. CELLPHONE in school YEAH!

    January 4, 2007 at 3:59 pm

  6. Emanuel

    I think that they should have cellphones in shchool. What happens if your mom goes out
    to lunch or something and there are her kids waiting for her to come home. Or if a kid goes over his friends house afterschool.Our lives are so busy we need to stay in contact.

    January 4, 2007 at 4:00 pm

  7. justin

    I think that they should have cell phones in school because in case of a emergency like if somebody’s kid gets kidnapped or robbed.Parents should contact there child incase if somebody hurt in a accident with a car.And the reason why we should not have cell phones is because they can be used to cheat on the N.Y.C. test.Also to be used to text to somebody that they are going to kill or bruetely beat somebody.They should keep cell phones in school because what are people going to do if somebody is trying to break into somebody’s house in the middle of the night.The way the board of ED is handling it is silly.They are going to the put cell phones in the lockers outside the school and I think that is bad,what if a bum or a crimanal’s try to break into the locker and steal the devices and god for bid the a terrorist break into the lockes and and put a high tech bomb into a cell phone and destroy the innocent people puting their lives on the line. I don’t think they should not make them pay for the lockers because that is just not fair.

    January 4, 2007 at 4:00 pm

  8. GIOVANNI ORTIZ

    I THINK THAT THEY SHOULD USE CELL PHONES AT SCHOOL. BECAUSE IF IT IS EMERGENCY AND WE NEED TO CONTACT SOME ONE THEN CELLPHONES ARE VERY IMPORTANT. WITHOUT A CELLPHONE WE DONT NOW IF SOMEone GOT HURT. IF MY MOM GOT HURT AND SOME ONE NEEDED TO CONTECT ME I WOULD WANT TO HAVE acell phone. IF I Did not HAVE MY CELL PHONE BECAUSE THEY TOOK MY CELL PHONE THEN I CAN Not CONTACT MY MOM
    I WOULD BE VERY MAD.I UNDERSTAND THE REASON THAT THEy DONT WANT CELL PHONES IN SCHOOL. BUT THE KIDS THAT CHEAT SHOULD NOT BE allowed to have their PHONEs. OR THE KIDS THAT DISTRACT THE CLASS. But do not punish everyone. I THINK THAT THE GOOD KIDS SHOULD TAKE THERE PHONE TO SCHOOL JUST IN CASE OF EMERGENCY. I THINK THAT KIDS THAT DONT CHEAT SHOULD NOT HAVE TO PAY PUT THERE PHONE IN THE LOCKERS.
    THIS IS ABOUT FOLLOWING RULES IF KIDS FOLLOW THE RULES AND DON’T HAVE THEIR CELLPHHONES OUT DURING CLASS THIS SHOULD NOT BE A PROBLEM

    January 4, 2007 at 4:01 pm

  9. Mr. Teasdale

    I think a cell phone ban is reasonable when cell phone users (children and adults) tend to use the priviledge without consideration for the environment they are in. In class, during office hours, on public transportation, anywhere where use may be considered abusive or rude, cell phones should not be used. It is my experience that most people think only of their own personal needs when using their cell phone. Perhaps it is a matter of teaching people consideration for others and proper manners but I think not. People I know who are polite in many situations abuse this privilege regularly. Since I do not see people self-regulating their behavior to maintain classroom integrity I am for a ban on cell phones.

    January 4, 2007 at 7:28 pm

  10. mr. mac

    I think banning cell phone in schools is a uphill battle. Most students have them and most all parents want their children to have them. Really you are giving teachers and adminstators another task to take on, creating posssible tension and stress for students and teachers alike.while I do feel their should be limits and rules, banning cell phones completely may be unrealistic.

    January 5, 2007 at 6:22 pm

  11. erica

    i think that kids should have cell phones in school. If you take the cell phones away from kids they won’ t be able to contact their mother when there hurt or injured or if something relly bad happens.

    January 5, 2007 at 7:23 pm

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