Allowing Cell Phones in Schools May Reduce Disciplinary Actions

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Schools throughout the country have been battling cell phones in the classroom ever since parents started giving their kids phones. In some Central Virginia schools though, cell phone rule enforcement is becoming more relaxed, and it is leading to fewer disciplinary actions against students in those schools.

Does this mean that the teachers are willingly allowing kids to use their phones in class? No, far from it. For the most part, this is a matter of fighting a losing battle. As more children get phones, teachers eventually give up on the idea of fighting them. One school has even gone so far as allowing cell phones in classrooms, as long as they are not used during instruction times.

Meghan Goff, a math teacher at Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School, said, “They’re really distracting,” remarking on how much of a headache it used to be for her to enforce cell phone regulations. Goff now works at a private school that confiscates phones at the beginning of the day, which she says is a huge relief. “It’s something that I don’t have to worry about that I used to have to worry about all the time.”

The statistics indicate a substantial drop in cell phone related discipline over the last few years. In the 2008-2009 school year, Chesterfield, VA had 540 reported cell phone offenses, compared to only 100 in 2012-2013. Richmond, VA saw a similar decline, from 192 to just 32.

While there are fewer disciplinary actions related to cell phones in these districts, teachers throughout the country are still fighting the battle against technology. Either students need to not use their phones in class, or teachers will have to find a way around this issue. In either case, there are sure to be more changes in the future.

About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor. Natalie can be contacted at [email protected]