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Do children need to have cell phones with them at school?

37 Comments
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i've briefly assisted at a school that allows cellphones for kids, all they do is text each other in class NONSTOP!

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Nothing wrong with cellphones at school as long as there is control by staff on their use, which seems to be lacking.

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It depends on the definition of 'children.' I've seen JT use it for 18-year-old high school seniors who, in other countries, hardly count as 'children.' On topic, If they use their phones just for calling parents or guardians, fine. If they use it for texting and calling each other in school, no. However, are they texting or are they using a dictionary?

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I voted No, I don't think they need their phones in school.

At the same time, I don't think that's a reason for banning phones. If a pupil is using his phone in class to the detriment of his or others' studies, then confiscate it till the end of the day/week/term, just like any other item. Having the phone, having it turned off and not using it when your attention is supposed to be focussed elsewhere, are lessons that people need to learn.

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Welcome to the 21st century. Children can use computers and text each other while a lot of older people cannot. The cell phone is the communication instrument of the century and it is best children learn to use them at an early age. Also with a cell phone you always can know where your child is. Texting during class is of course unacceptable but that is a problem like talking or horsing around. It can be controlled.

The idea that cell phones take away people's humanity is rubbish. Japanese schools do that. The exam-oriented rote memorization system makes children isolated, selfish and guarded at an early age.

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"Do children need to have cell phones with them at school?"

not worded well. not all people at school are children. and im sure they dont NEED cell-phones.

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Whether people like it or not, cell phones are here to stay and I doubt anyone will be successfull at taking them away from students. But like any bad behaviour improper use should be dealt with. If their excuse is that they are using it for a calculator a friend if mine suggested the following: if it's a Mary class give them an equation to solve on their phone and time them. Chances are that most kids won't be able to even use functions beyond simple addition and multiplication. Any class that requires a calculator will need more than that. The only real reason kids want to have a cell in class is to text their friends, share photos and music. Not a requirement for any class that I know.

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Kids' cellphones should have parental controls to lock usage during school hours except for particular numbers, or functions. I expect sooner or later, this will be the case. Too late to kick cell phones out of any venue now.

One positive sign: since regulation against cell phone use during driving w/out hands-free went into affect in various US cities, driving has measurably improved. I'm also seeing work places starting to enact cell phone restricted areas, and publishing use guides to employees. This would seem to indicate our constantly connected society is starting to find its way.

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Whether people like it or not, cell phones are here to stay and I doubt anyone will be successfull at taking them away from students. But like any bad behaviour improper use should be dealt with.

I think kids should be allowed cellphones but must keep them in there lockers/bags.. i know for a fact (because i did it haha) that some will sneak them in but thats where teachers should step in and give no warning and take them away, but give them back at the end of class, none of that "at the end of the semester" crap. If they wish to use them for calculators the teacher should be aware of this intension, so they should ask/let the teacher know.

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During my days (some 15+ years ago) cellphones were expensive and scarce among school environment. Almost no student carried one. I remembered some students were even stripped of their pagers even when they weren't using it (that was during some stupid schoolbag search). I told myself it's just another personal communications device and is no harm, so such devices ahould be allowed. But now cellphones have become a commodity and even a kid is being assigned one. And the bundled features are simply distracting to the everyday school activities and the student's well being. I'm still against taking the phones away from them, but certain restraint is necessary. Jamming devices can be installed in each classroom and set to run during class and/or exam session, but that's not without drawbacks (esp. during real emergency).

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From my two years in high schools in Yokohama, I can tell you that if cell phones are in the classroom, you will NOT be able to "control" it. You'll be spending your precious time and energy telling the kids to "turn it off" and "put it away" and then they will back at it as soon as you try to teach the class.

As the "instructor" you won't be able to tell if they are using the keitai as a dictionary, and why should you have to peer over their shoulders to make sure anyway? Just more police work instead of teaching.

Children younger than high school...no way. Leave it in the lunchbox and check then. If there is a family emergency, the old fashion way of the parent calling the school who notifies the teacher etc. How many emergencies is the kid going to have anyway? Not many if at all.

Reality, people.

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Controlling them is easier said than done, I've been there. Remember, they're kids and they will find every possible way to keep texting each other. I'm okay with kids bringing cellphones to school for contacting their parents and for emergency use but when class starts they should be inside lockers, hopefully with ringtones turned off.

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There used to be an interesting device to block cell phone transmissions several years ago but I never hear of it these days.

They were advertised for use in hospitals and schools and other places where one of these devices would prevent the phone being used within a determined area.

Those would be good to place in and around schools. - If there's a reason to contact the kids then there's an office with staff who can relay the message if it is deemed important enough, isn't there?

Fairly simple to make actually.
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I know of a teacher whose class was interrupted by a girl being called on her cell phone. The second time it rang, the teacher walked over, took that phone and smashed it on the floor, then calmly continued with the class.

That's the way to do it! Make them illegal in class and enforce it.
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There used to be an interesting device to block cell phone transmissions several years ago but I never hear of it these days.

A single layer of aluminum foil (with some overlap) on my cell phone and a call to it gets an "out of range" message. That device was hidden in my kitchen. Blocking cell phone signals can be done many ways.

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Kids have less maturity than adults who SMS while driving. So you get my point.

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The question is not really clear. What do you mean with "at school"?

I don't see a reason why children shouldn't take a cell phone to school, as long as they don't use it during the lessons. I think the best way is to ban cell phone use in classrooms completely and take the phones away in case they are found. They can then be returned later, with 'later' being just after the lesson, in the end of the day, only to the parents, or whatever else becomes necessary.

I do not think there is a need for calculators or dictionaries during lessons, so no excuse on this one either.

After school or during the breaks, let the children use their cell phones as they want. It's their way of communicating. We may have come up in a different way, but so have our parents, who complained about our "bad" habits.

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I think this is a decision that should be reached by children and their parents. Schools have no say in it, nor the government.

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gonemad said it well. They may need them to contact their parents etc after class, but in class they should be off and or in their lockers or a designated storage space

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Cuts both ways I suppose. Having kids on the phone at school is definitely out the window, however, from a parental standpoint having your child carry a mobile phone offers peace of mind.

Case in point, my elder son (a junior high school student) was attacked on the way home from school by a taxi driver. According to my son (and several eye witnesses) the taxi driver went spare for no reason at all (thought a kid would be an easy mark). While defending himself, my son called home. My wife and one of our dogs (the larger one) went to my son's aid. The taxi driver ended up having a near death experience and also being arrested for A/B. Now, if my son had not been carrying a phone, the outcome might have been different.

Considering this incident, I have been sending my son to school with a phone since, despite school regulations banning phones. When my son's homeroom teacher contacted us about this "problem," I asked the teacher if he was willing to assure me of my son's complete and utter safety. That was the end of discussion. My son has special permission to carry his phone.

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You bet they need them. They never know when a class mate will flip out because they "just felt like hurting someone." All those cell phones in the class room will get help sooner than waiting for the teacher to run to the office to get help called. As long as they are not texting or calling during class then what's the big deal?

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yeap, lets use wire mesh to encase the classrooms to cut out any spys.

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It is an issue of safety. They need to have the cellphones on them at all times, even in school, in class, where ever they are. And they need to be on and ready to receive any type of emergency call, and be able to make any type of emergency call at any point in time. Confiscation of the cellphones by teachers is a life threatening act that can cost a child their life. Such actions should be banned.

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Confiscation of the cellphones by teachers is a life threatening act that can cost a child their life

If you really believe that then best to home school your kids and never let them out the door

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"Confiscation of the cellphones by teachers is a life threatening act that can cost a child their life."

Exaggerate much?

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I gave a mini-lecture at several BOEs in the Kinki area for Professional Development earlier in the year. While they were for mostly Admin., they also involved teachers, and in two cases I also talked education with senior highschool classes as a guest. In the former, during every lecture at least four or five cell phones went off and adults checked email or excused themselves to gab on the phone. Maybe it was important... I don't know, but with the highschool kids not a cell phone went off.

That's not to say it doesn't happen -- it does. But my point is that these adults that complain about kids' lax morals and the 'cell phone problem' are very lax themselves. What's more, many parents WANT their kids to have cell phones at all times because of the murders that have been going on in Japan over the past 8 years or so... kids without them can't be tracked (GPDs built in) and/or contacted in emergencies, etc.

I say give the kid who answers a phone or is caught emailing in class the boot. If it goes off by accident and the kid promptly apologizes or what have you, fine... it happens and you're NOT going to get kids to give up phones. But no... in Japan you canNOT give a bad-ass kid the boot because those kids 'have a right to an education' (at the expense of everyone else's).

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Look guys they do this at my Aussie school. The rule is that you leave your mobile with school staff until school is over, or you keep it in your locker.

Although, nobody does either of those. It's usually a game of "not getting caught".

Usually phone rings disrupt class about 2-3 times a week. Can be pretty annoying sometimes though.

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"Confiscation of the cellphones by teachers is a life threatening act that can cost a child their life." Exaggerate much?

Not at all. I remember when I was at school back in the bad old days before mobiles, kids were always disappearing, exploding in puff of smoke and melting into sticky, smelly puddles in the school corridors, all because they didn't have an instant means of contact with the outside world.

:-)

Kids do not need phones in school. If parents need to be contacted during school hours, there's a phone in the staff room. If parents are afraid junior is going to run away/get kidnapped/forget his way home, let him have his mobile but if it disrupts class just once, it gets confiscated till the end of the school day.

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Just rechecked the question and realized how stupid it was (never really read it in the first place). Do they 'need' phones in school? No. Are they going to have them anyway? yes.

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no

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Kids? Why does ANYBODY need a cell phone? Are they that desperate to enrich au, Softbank and DoCoMo?

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Children under the age of 16 should not have cell phone. Period.

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In a society where neighbors are quite indifferent to each other, having a cellphone can indeed give the parents some sort of peace of mind, especially when untoward incidents happen to their kids. But then, parents should also be responsible enough to guide their kids with the limitations of using cellphones because what they perceive to be the one safegurading their kids could also be the same tool for their kids' destruction - eg deai-saito, etc... Because these cellphone, most of the time, are useful when the kids are outside the portals of the school, then its usage should be banned within the school, and can only be activated once the kids leave the campus. I have to say though that even mobile phones cannot totally save your kids from the dangerous predators of society!

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there is no need for children to have cellphones in school. if they want to take photoes they must have digital camera and if they want to listen musiks , they must have ipod. but not in school.

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Not just kids, everyone. I wish they were never invented. Now, I have to pay 3,000 yen a month for the toy just because my wife insists that we need it.

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while I'm personally undecided on the issue I'm just wondering if the kids don't have their phones at school how will they communicate with each other?

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They they need them at school...no. Do they need them going to and from school..yes.

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