Instead of Banning Cellphones, Schools Should Teach Responsible Use

Friday, February 22, 2013

On a recent morning, my eighth-grader grabbed her cellphon as she was leaving for school. In my house, this calls for an explanation. She told me in a rush: "We can use them in art class. We listen to music, and we look up images."

With that, she was gone.

This is a big change from two years ago, when her teacher summoned me to the school to personally retrieve my daughter's phone. He had confiscated it after she was caught with it a second time.

Cellphone bans in school are widespread. A friend told me about a deli that makes a good living holding cellphones for kids while they are in school, for $1 a day. Kids want their phones, and schools want them phone-free. At least, that's what the rule seemed to be until the other morning at my house.

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