Campus phone use OK if discreet
Since the 1980s, cell phones and pagers have been banned from the state’s schools in a bid to curb on-campus drug trafficking.
A few years later, and the law itself has been tossed aside by a new one which allows school districts themselves to decide how to deal with the issue.
The sudden shift can be traced in part to the growth of the cell phone industry, which has convinced many of us that we can’t live without a cell phone – and neither can anyone else in our families old enough to punch in numbers.
The changing attitudes are also linked to a series of high-profile kidnappings. Parents worried about the safety of their children can be reassured if the youngsters are a mere phone call away.
Technically, of course, students are not supposed to bring cell phones onto high school campuses, although some undoubtedly do. Cell phones are everywhere, and all a ban on them does is force youngsters to be discreet with their use, which is probably not a bad thing.
An official at Nevada Union High School concedes that keeping cell phones out of the hands of students is not a high priority, and it probably should not be.
Yes, cell phones can be disruptive in the hands of teens – and adults, for that matter – which is why their use needs to be regulated.
It may be more realistic for the Nevada Joint Union High School District to allow the cell phones on campus, but regulate their use during the school day. Students could be advised to keep the phones turned off or risk losing them, a rule that could be waived in the case of emergencies.
The new technology is a tool like any other and can be used or misused. But, either way, it is probably here to stay. School officials can continue “banning” them if they like, but cell phone-wielding parents are going to want to stay in touch with their children.
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