The Instigator
Cujosrevenge
Pro (for)
Losing
28 Points
The Contender
Cerebral_Narcissist
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Cell phones should be allowed in school

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 12 votes the winner is...
Cerebral_Narcissist
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/16/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 103,366 times Debate No: 9503
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (77)
Votes (12)

 

Cujosrevenge

Pro

I think that cell phones should be allowed to be used in schools, but put on vibrate in classes. I think that teachers should only let students accept calls from their families. cell phones should be face up on a desk though, so that when testing, no cheating is advised.
Besides, even if one forbids cell phone usage, it doesnt prevent the problem... it only makes people use a phone in a place that it is uncalled for. (the bathroom or locker room)
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for posting this debate topic which though mundane allows for a number of different argument to be used.

My opponents position is that cell phones should be allowed in school, by implication he appears to mean specifically that the students and pupils be permitted to have mobile phones. As the instigator the burden of proof is upon my opponent to show that the presence of cell phones is overall of more benefit than their absence.

My opponent makes the following contentions,
"I think that cell phones should be allowed to be used in schools, but put on vibrate in classes".

I object to this for several reasons, firstly not every student would remember to consistently place his or her phone on vibrate, as a result classes would be disrupted by the occasional ring tone. Causing annoyance to teachers and disruption to the learning process.

Even if pupils remembered to place their phones on a vibrate setting it must be observed that several makes and models produce potentially loud vibrations. If left on desks as my opponent later suggests such devices are known to 'whiz around' as a result of vibrating on a flat surface, again causing disruption to classes.

My opponent also states that
"I think that teachers should only let students accept calls from their families"

This would require the student to physically check his phone to see from whom the call is coming from, this distracts the student and shows disrespect to the teacher.

My opponent is maybe considering that the presence of a mobile phone allows the swift communication of a family emergency, this can easily achieved by phoning the school directly. This would create a delay of no more than a few minutes which is perfectly acceptable as the student in question is unlikely to be a member of the emergency services.

"Besides, even if one forbids cell phone usage, it doesnt prevent the problem... it only makes people use a phone in a place that it is uncalled for. (the bathroom or locker room)"

Actually that does solve one of the major problems of cell phone usage, by restricting it to furtive places it prevents the disruption of the classroom.

Additional reasons as to why cell phones should not be allowed in school are the increased possibility of thefts amongst students. Furthermore in the violent atmospheres of the American high schools which are increasingly installing metal detectors to prevent the importation of knives and guns efforts should be made to cut down on the number of unnecessary items a student may bring to school.

Therefore I maintain that though cell phones have the advantage of instant communication this is not a pressing need in the school environment and come with problems that fair outweigh the benefits.
Debate Round No. 1
Cujosrevenge

Pro

I do admit that distractions are a major problem in a classroom. There are other ways to distract someone than a phone. Talking is one of the biggest distractions.
"and shows disrespect to the teacher."
-Well, it shows disrespect for the students when the teachers begin using their cell phones.
I think cell phones should only be used (other than emergency) or can be useful when it comes to calculators, and organizers. Not everyone carries a paper organizer or agenda with them. Cell phones have alarms and reminders, which could come in handy.
If a cell phone goes off (not on vibrate), then the teacher should be ably to take the phone for the balance of a day.

Treat cell phones like scissors.
If a kid runs with scissors, you punish the kid, you dont take all of the scissors away.

I can completely understand your point of veiw. Cell phones are distractions. However, they have MANY good uses.
Banning cell phones might be a great idea, but banning even the presence of a cell phone (even when its off) is just not right.

Office phones are not all that great for emergecies.
An emergency may be private, and the presence of other students in the office may cause "talking" such as rumors.
When talking to your family, such things should be kept private.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for the quick response,

"There are other ways to distract someone than a phone. Talking is one of the biggest distractions."

This is most certainly true, extraneous conversation is a distraction and also generally prohibited. This has no relevance on the issue of mobile phones.

"-Well, it shows disrespect for the students when the teachers begin using their cell phones."

Maybe it does, but the implication of my opponents opening statement suggested that we were to debate the issue students and their phones. If it is disruptive for a teacher to have access to a cell phone in school then how much more is it to allow the students access to them as well? Besides the teacher being an adult professional can be trusted to decide how to use his phone.

"I think cell phones should only be used (other than emergency) or can be useful when it comes to calculators, and organizers. Not everyone carries a paper organizer or agenda with them. Cell phones have alarms and reminders, which could come in handy."

But cell phones also come with the disadvantages already mentioned, they can easily and cheaply be replaced in these roles by paper organisers and agendas that come with no real problems.

"If a cell phone goes off (not on vibrate), then the teacher should be ably to take the phone for the balance of a day."

This disciplining action denies the use of the phone for instant communication in the case of emergency, (which is moot anyway as I have outlined a superior alternative). In addition by confiscating the phone you may have denied the student his calculator, alarm and reminders, (as he has as you argued become reliant on these features when other alternatives exist) thus disrupting his education. How much easier would it be to simply ban the objects from the classroom in the first place?

"Treat cell phones like scissors.
If a kid runs with scissors, you punish the kid, you don't take all of the scissors away."

Scissors are required for certain lessons, phones are not.

"Office phones are not all that great for emergencies.
An emergency may be private, and the presence of other students in the office may cause "talking" such as rumors.
When talking to your family, such things should be kept private."

If a parent phones through with a family emergency they can merely tell the school receptionist/telephonist, "We have a family emergency I am coming to pick up Timmy".

Should the teacher be distracted by Timmy answering his phone he will naturally demand an explanation. It is generally easier for a parent to assert their right to privacy over the phone to the school than it is for a child to stand up to a teacher.

Thus I feel that the presence of mobiles is still unnecessary and detrimental.
Debate Round No. 2
Cujosrevenge

Pro

When I said "treat cell phones like scissors..." I was speaking metaphorically.
I know that cell phones are a distraction, but they also have great benefit.
If the point of distraction is the only point of argument you have, then I think this conversation is through.
There are a lot of pros and cons for cell phones, but a distraction can come from anywhere other than a cell phone also.
Like I said, cell phones are INSTANT access to anyone. It actually takes a while to get through to the office phone.
People are more likely to keep up with a cell phone than a paper agenda. I myself would rather have an electronic organizer.

"Should the teacher be distracted by Timmy answering his phone he will naturally demand an explanation. It is generally easier for a parent to assert their right to privacy over the phone to the school than it is for a child to stand up to a teacher."
-I don't think that a cell phone being used would be as much of an interruption as a school intercom calling little "Timmy" to the office. Sure, the student would have to stand up to a teacher, but all the student has to do is show the teacher the text message from the office.

The presence of mobiles aren't unnecessary. I agree, it may be useless at some points, but if there was a problem, like I said, there would be instant contact.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Con

My opponent states,
"If the point of distraction is the only point of argument you have, then I think this conversation is through."

Actually I have listed several points, the issue of distraction has not really been countered but the conversation is through because we are on the final round.

"Like I said, cell phones are INSTANT access to anyone."

Exactly, they therefore have no role in the classroom where a Student should only be able to communicate with education staff and fellow students.

"It actually takes a while to get through to the office phone."

Well that is entirely dependent on how well the school is administered, they is generally someone in the office or failing someone for a parent to talk to if they turn up out of the blue.

"People are more likely to keep up with a cell phone than a paper agenda. I myself would rather have an electronic organizer."

But there is no real qualitative difference, students are not running financial empires, they need to remember quite basic things such what lesson follows what and if they have homework. A paper agenda serves this purpose very well, so does a cell phone, but the later comes with a number of problems.

"I don't think that a cell phone being used would be as much of an interruption as a school intercom calling little "Timmy" to the office. Sure, the student would have to stand up to a teacher, but all the student has to do is show the teacher the text message from the office"

So the phone rings/vibrates potentially disrupting the lesson.
The student checks to ascertain from whom the call is from. Disrupting the lesson.
The student answers the phone/reads the text message, disrupting the lesson.
The student interrupts the teacher, disrupting the lesson.
The student explains the situation to the teacher, disrupting the lesson.
The teacher must decide whether to take the student on his/her word, to speak to the parent in question or to independently verify whether or not it is a genuine emergency call.

In addition for every legitimate emergency call there will be what... a dozen examples were students have forgotten to put their phones on silent or are using them when the teacher is distracted, or complaining they are stolen etc etc.

My opponent has failed to explain how this would be superior to the momentary intercom message, or a simple knock at the door and 'can Timmy come to reception'.

Prior to the widespread adoption of mobile phones no one ever argued that each school desk be fitted with a ham radio or a land line.

The benefit of mobile phones is instant communication, this is totally unnecessary in a classroom for reasons I have already explained. In addition to being unnecessary such phones will cause distraction and secondary problems. Thus I strongly urge a vote for Con.

Thank you for the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
77 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Landon_Fairbanks 1 year ago
Landon_Fairbanks
I agree with this to an extent. If they are abusing them to cheat or other things than no but if they want to use it on their own time then yes cell phones should be allowed in school.
Posted by Becca.Martin 4 years ago
Becca.Martin
Honestly I agree that they should be allowed! I agree with everything on the pro side! I am doing at debate at school for the same cell phone subject n I am gunna take sum quotes from the pro side. Ifya don't mind ;)
Posted by Cujosrevenge 5 years ago
Cujosrevenge
Thank y'all so much for posting how y'all are voting... I really appreciate knowing what I need to work on. Thanks.
Posted by MasterDebaterMK 5 years ago
MasterDebaterMK
I didn't vote, as a student i'm bias, and think cell phones should be allowed.

But i'd just like to point out, Cerebral_Narcissist uses the argument that cell phones will forget to be turned off, causing a distraction to the learning, so on and so forth.
From that point on, I thought the arguments were too picky.
I could name 100 different things that could disrupt a class. Cell phone ringing isn't a big deal, once everyone gets use to the idea that it may happen. I just think the lesson interrupting argument wasn't strong enough, but the examples that went with the argument were well supported.

Just my thoughts :P
Posted by jonbmagician 5 years ago
jonbmagician
How I voted:

Before/After: Pro/Pro.
Conduct: Tied
Spelling + Grammar: Tied. There were mistakes on both sides.
Convincing Arguments: Con. I just stopped reading after Pro said, "There are a lot of pros and cons for cell phones, but a distraction can come from anywhere other than a cell phone also." Other distractions have nothing to do with the debate....which is about cell phones. Con also had really good contentions.
Reliable Sources: Tied, no one used any sources.

Good luck to both of you in future debates :-)
Posted by Cujosrevenge 5 years ago
Cujosrevenge
Well, im new to this whole debate thing... so I dont quite get the layout of the debates. But I will eventually im sure
Posted by studentathletechristian8 5 years ago
studentathletechristian8
RFD:

B/A: Pro/Pro
Conduct: Tied. Good enough on both sides.
S & G: Con. Although both sides had mistakes in both grammar and organization, I felt that Con's arguments were more coherent and organized in comparison to Pro's.
C A: Con. Con successfully rebutted Pro's contentions and dominated most of the debate.
Sources: Tied. None used.
Posted by Cujosrevenge 5 years ago
Cujosrevenge
Very nice picture btw.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 5 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Okay the metal detector approach was a weak argument. Another weaker arguments considered was the cancer risk... all those phones on in a classroom... inconclusive studies... young brains etc etc.

But I still had a point, if a school does use a metal detector than it makes sense for them to discourage as many small metal objects as possible in the interests of health and safety and the ease of actually using the metal detector.
Posted by Cujosrevenge 5 years ago
Cujosrevenge
Well, we don't have a metal detector in our school, so i'm sure if anyone wanted to bring a weapon, they could quite easily get away with it.

But CEREBRAL_NARCISSIST has a very good point when he says that even a headbutt could kill some one.
12 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by kglover29 4 years ago
kglover29
CujosrevengeCerebral_NarcissistTied
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Vote Placed by NDWolfwood5268 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by diamond011 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by patsox834 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by scottkayla34 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by MasterDebaterMK 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by rtaylo38 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by jonbmagician 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 5 years ago
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