The Instigator
SquadSix
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bluesteel
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points

Cellphones for Kids(4-11 year olds)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/12/2011 Category: Technology
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,386 times Debate No: 19250
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (5)

 

SquadSix

Con

I am very aware of this topic and I dislike that kids get to have cellphones, now I know there are some people who are all for kids having cellphones so I hope this topic will get some great feedback.

I shall be pointing out why they shouldn't have them until their 7th grade year and why I feel they aren't responsible enough for it. I shall also be pointing out why a child has no reason to even have one.
bluesteel

Pro

Thanks for the debate squadsix.

I agree that there is an age when kids are too young to have cell phones. Obviously a one-year-old has no need for a cellphone and may even break it or hurt him/herself with it. However, anytime children are separated from their parents, a cell phone proves useful.

As a point of procedure, I'd like to point out that as long as I win that 11 year olds should have cell phones, I should win. My opponent sets himself up to have to defend 7th grade as the arbitrary cutoff point, before which cell phones are bad for kids.

I would point out that kids may start school (pre-school) as early as when they are 4 years old. It is much better for these kids if they have a way of contacting their parents, whether it is an emergency or the student needs to be picked up from school. I know personally, even as young as 6, it was embarrassing when my parents were late to pick me up from after-school care and sometimes I was the last kid there. I would have liked to have a cell phone to have reminded my mom to pick me up on time.

In addition, students as young as 5 may have after school activities, such as sports, music, dance, etc. Parents often allow other parents to carpool and take their kids to after school activities. However, again, kids need cell phones if something goes wrong, and they need their own parents to pick them up.

In addition, it's better that a child have a cell phone in case of an emergency. If a stranger pulls up in a van and asks, "Can you help me look for my dog?" rather than having your child look around in confusion as to what to do, wouldn't you rather they pick up their cell phone and say, "okay, let me call my mommy and see if she can help too."
Debate Round No. 1
SquadSix

Con

I also agree with your statement that if you prove a single 11 year old is allowed to use a cell phone you should win so lets commence round two.

I attended preschool so I can see where you are going here but there are a few variants I would like to share. In a school usually every teacher would have a phone in there office if I am correct so in class emergency's could be handled by that situation but if it is after school at a practice or something another variant occurs, if the front office is open or not. In my school the front office is usually opened for practices but my school isn't every school in the nation but that is where friends come in. Their friends can help you get home or even if you have an older brother or sister who works out or practices on JV or Varsity to help them get home. Your statement about what I believe is day-care, is easily avoidable with the day-care workers. There is always help available there and adults with land-line phones and cell phones. Now if they let the child use the cell phone for that instance I wouldn't consider that to be having one but using so don't think of that as a loophole.

When you talked about dancing there may or may not be chaperones and if not there may be a teacher there. At my school there was usually a dance that was for high school only and middle school which included 5th grade also. Since there are 7th and 8th graders they could help in the calling.

Now if a 6th grader going into 7th grade is getting a cell phone they could talk to a sibling or a friend going into 8th grade or higher in how to properly use one.

The main problem I have with kids using cell phones is texting. They will start using texts at a young age if they get it at a young age. They will start writing in text language. An example would be, "U r my frnd." I have no idea how to write in text talk since I have written everyday in my life(exaggeration).

I can see your point on outside of school emergency's as well such as your example, but why are they alone anyways. I mean a 5th or 6th grader and maybe a 4th grader but for a preschooler to a 3rd grader should not be alone outside. They should be with an older sibling or an adult at all times so not to be kidnapped or injured on accident. Until the parents know they are not allowed to talk to strangers they should not be alone outside.

I leave the floor to you.
bluesteel

Pro

Thanks for the quick response SquadSix.

I'll respond to your arguments in the order you made them.

== Office phone ==

Yes, at school, each teacher has an office phone. However, students are not allowed to use it, unless in an actual emergency. If you pee in your pants, you can't call mommy to bring you new ones without raising your hand and explaining to the teacher what happened. This is embarrassing and may lead to castigation, name-calling ("pee pants"), and bullying.

For example, once in 5th grade, my mom took me to the eye doctor, and he dilated my pupils. My mom took me back to school, but I couldn't see ANYTHING. Rather than being able to call her during recess, INSTEAD I had to just wait it out. The teacher end up calling on me to answer a question on the board. I had to explain that I couldn't see. She asked why? Even more embarrassed, I had to explain why. She said in front of everyone, "you don't belong here, go to the school nurse, she'll call your mom." Embarrassing.

When I was in 6th grade, my mom forgot to pick me up after school. The office doesn't just let you run in and use their phone whenever you feel like it, and honestly, I didn't think of doing that. Instead I waited for 3 hours for her to remember to come get me. All of my friends had already been picked up by that point, so I couldn't borrow a phone. Also, I didn't have any friends from 7th or 8th grade. Most kids make friends only within their grade level. Under my opponent's proposal, they couldn't borrow from an older friend, only an older sibling. I don't have an older sibling, only a younger one.

== After School Activities ==

My opponent again says kids should "just borrow" cell phones from friends. The first problem is: for a young child, they may not have mommy's number memorized, but with a cell phone it's programmed in. Second, not all after-school activities include both younger and older children. I went to after-school gymnastics which only included students 5-10; I attended swim classes for only students in my age level.

== Why 7th grade?? ==

My opponent never explains this arbitrary cutoff point. If middle school is an appropriate time for a cell phone, why not give it to 6th graders too? My opponent agrees that if I win 6th grade, I win. Middle school is when students are given more autonomy. In 6th grade, I was allowed to WALK to my after-school care facility, which was far away from my school campus. I was allowed to stop with friends, on the way, and go get food. I had enough maturity for a cell phone at that age.

== Texting ==

First, not all kids text in "text language." Second, my opponent never even proves why this is bad. I sometimes text "lol" or "u r a dork", etc, but my facility with the English language is still quite good. It doesn't degrade actual writing ability to use text shortcuts.

In addition, texting is not allowed, by teachers, during class. Some schools even block wireless signals during school hours (excluding recess and lunch), so students can't text. In addition, parental controls allow parents to prevent kids from calling or texting anyone but them. http://www.greatschools.org...

Lastly, kids use Facebook so they'll use this shorthand anyway.

== Emergencies ==

You can't prepare your kid for everything. You never know what situation they will find themselves in. Even if you tell them about the "lost dog" trick, what if you forgot to tell them about if a stranger shows up and says, "Your parents were in a terrible accident. They sent me to get you. Come quick." The stranger may even know their name by having stalked them, either online or in person.

In these emergencies, children have scared away potential attackers by taking cell phone pictures of them. http://www.greatschools.org... They can also be instructed to CALL their parents if a stranger ever approaches them. This circumvents the newest trick that child molesters are using.

Lastly, children sometimes simply get lost. Many parents allow their children enough autonomy to walk home from school. If, for whatever reason, the child is lost (or kidnapped), the GPS on the phone can be activated to find the child. http://www.greatschools.org...

Here is a story about a mom who refused to get her 11 year old a cell phone. One day, the bus was late picking him up. He called his jerk 15 year old brother, who told him to just wait there. When his mom finally found him, deathly cold, she realized that she should have just got him a cell phone. http://www.businessweek.com...

Cell phones have also been used to record incidents of school bullying, to prove the abuse to school administrators.

A 2 year old saved her mother's life by using a cell phone to call police after her mother collapsed. http://www.khou.com... This would not have been possible had the 2 year old had no proficiency with using cell phones.

This is another reason kids need cell phones: they can call the police if they are in dire need of assistance. If they are ever alone and something REALLY bad happens, they may be too far from the nearest landline. What about an asthmatic kid who collapses into an asthma fit, after forgetting his inhaler? Wouldn't you rather he be able to immediately dial 911, even if he's on his own?

Children's Hospital Boston says, "For some young kids, cell phones truly do improve their health and safety. Kids with chronic and dangerous health problems, like diabetes or bad asthma, can use them to get help quickly. Kids who will be alone for more than brief periods (like those with a long public transportation ride to and from school) are safer if they can be in touch with a grownup easily. And for various reasons, some families need the ability to be in close contact. In these situations, the benefits outweigh the risks." http://childrenshospitalblog.org...

"Some academic experts advocate giving mobile phones to 10- and 11-year-olds. In 2001, professors at the University of Gloucestershire found that about half of the 351 primary-school pupils they surveyed had
phones and that 38% had used their phones in a crisis situation." http://cmcs.rutgers.edu... According to this study, nearly FORTY percent of young kids had used their cell phone in a "crisis situation."

Parents clearly think it is important to give 11 year olds cell phone. One third of all 11 year olds have cell phones in the U.S. http://www.tomsguide.com... According to the same Rutgers study, students who don't get cell phones can develop negative self-feelings and isolation, and they may have stunted social skills: "lack of ownership 'could harm social development and learning and lead to negative self-feelings and isolation.'" [1]

[1] Tony Charlton, Charlotte Panting, and Andrew Hannan, "Mobile Telephone Ownership and Usage Among 10- and 11-Year-Olds: Participation and Exclusion", Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties
Debate Round No. 2
SquadSix

Con

Yeah I can see your point about the office and for real emergency's like getting another set of pants for you. That happened to me, I had to go the entire day but I never told anyone(luckily I was wearing dark pants). No one noticed so I was saved from ridicule but I already had my share so I could deal with it but if it has never happened I can see where you are coming from. In our school our office usually lets us use the phone system but like I said in the last part we aren't every school.

Now with the fact that it is not memorized that is where a probably underused part of school is set in, the planner. I don't know if every school uses them and if they do if every student uses them they can put the phone number in the planner and then they won't have to memorize the number so even if they aren't able to ask a friend or older sibling that might help.

Now friendship with older age groups is not common but is also active if you can get one good friend in an older age group. For me I got one friend and then as I started hanging around him I got more friends whether it be through after school hours sports or just going to their house.

Now I can see where you are going for with 6th grade maturity but then again not everyone is mature. I use 7th grade because it is where school is actually starting to get more important. It is where your record will start to have an effect and where you will go in life. In 6th grade you can start thinking about things but you still got time but from 7th grade and on you will have to start worrying about credits so you will need to learn more and more responsibility. I say 7th grade because of my school. We have kindergarten to 6th grade on the same side while 7th to 12th on the high school side. After 6th grade we have about 7 teachers every day dependent on your classes, but some places have 6th through 8th together so that may prove to be a challenge.

To talk about that I will have to say it is like your life. You start off new and don't need anything and as you go on you will be able to grow in maturity and responsibility. 7th grade would be the half point and you will be ready for it. Again another part of this go to what I have gone through. In 6th grade you are still on the elementary sports(which is in the morning for us) and 7th grade is the start of JV.

I also would like to say I am one of those people who take the time to type out whatever I say on a text, but then again got a cell phone when I was in 8th grade. Our school also has a great English program but some of the kids at our school actually write in text language for some assignments that I have corrected. I have asked the teacher and he told me to mark them wrong and then he gave a speech about not using text language and not it is only used in our Biology classes and math on those word problems. It isn't fully taken out but in English class it is.

I read the article about that 11 year old boy and thought that was just stupid of the older brother and I was almost going to completely agree with you but when I kept reading it I saw that it said other kids were waiting for another bus and that the mom had to have been able to get into the school since she talked to the assistant principle. The boy could have waited inside or with the other kids and not have almost died. It would have just took some common sense for him not to have any problems.

I read the next article, and if I am correct the mother almost smothered her daughter by sleeping on her. If I am wrong I am sorry for misinterpreting but if I am correct it seems that the daughter had no training and the parent must have let her play with it for a little bit each day but for the mother to fall asleep on the daughter is unacceptable. It is a very good point in your favor but then again how many times will that situation come up for a 2 year old to save her 8 month old. I like your point but it seems that the parent could have prevented it.

As I read the childenhospital.org site page it seemed that all their kids got one around the ages of 14 give or take a year. It seemed the child was just trying to get a cell phone to talk to her friends but was using it as an excuse since she started to pout about every kid having one. Now listening to a child whine about one isn't my thing. I would probably think about it and go with it since it would be my child but it would all depend on what they said. If it was because everyone had one I would tell them that I had to wait. I also don't fuss about material things but if it is something I like I will defend it until I collapse whether it be about a game or a book, but a cell phone? I can deal without it, but then again it is because where I live. I live where everyone know everyone.

About the article of isolation, I have felt isolation from my kindergarten to 5th grade year with, well lets just say I had well over my share of name calling. Public isolation is easily avoidable if you just talk to them face to face. I have no idea how they feel public isolation. Also about negative-feelings, I have had to go over many obstacles in my life but these things just happen. Life sends us challenges but with every challenge we come out stronger.

All right now to place something else on the table. Years from now when cell phones become more advanced what would happen? Touch phones will get more advanced and maybe be talk and it will type for you, such as Dragon for the computer for those who don' t like to type. That might actually be acceptable but then they will only be talking so texting will be obsolete. Also touch phones can give people some anger. My sister in general gets mad when she can't move the unlock button or get to her texts after calling.
Now to continue on this what would happen if kids got cell phones then they will only be wanting to get them earlier and earlier and soon every pre-school kid will have a cell phone if we give the kids what they want. As parents we should teach them it is all right to have some item at certain ages. Like a car, you must be 16 or possibly 15 if you got your drivers ed a 14 to get a drivers license and to vote is 18. They don't let 12 year old kids drive because it isn't safe or let 17 year old teens vote, that I never understood but it is probably because they don't believe they aren't mature enough even if their birthday is a day after the voting they still can't because it is against the law.

It is up to the parent to chose the final verdict but I still think that 12 year old are the right place, unless you got one of those genius children who are in college at 16, they may get one at a younger age since they might be in high school at age 10 or may just skip it since they are so smart(unlikely scenario but just throwing it out there.)

To conclude I say you have very good points and were a great challenge. I hope to go against you in the future. You have been a great opponent, I still agree that you should win if an 11 year old should get one you should win.
bluesteel

Pro

My opponent talks a lot about smart phones, but since those are expensive, most companies make cheap "kiddy variety" phones with parental controls.

My opponent basically agrees that if only one 11 year old needs a cell phone then I win. If you believe that I would have benefited from a cell phone, by not being left at school by my mom, and that I personally was responsible enough to have one, then vote for me.

Also, my opponent doesn't really answer two key arguments: they are essential in emergencies, to call 911. So very sick children obviously need them. Also, they have been effective in stopping child molesters (such as snapping pictures). Remember, in a study, almost 40% of 11 year olds said they used their cell phone in a "crisis situation."

Lastly, some children, depending on their circumstances, need some mode of contact with their parents. Obviously, if they can walk to school in 2 minutes, they don't need a cell phone, but if it's a student who is attending a charter school across town and has to take 3 public buses to get there, obviously that student may have need of calling his or her parents. My opponent obviously can't win if the resolution is categorical because there will always be extenuating circumstances where an 11 year old might need a cell phone.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by SquadSix 5 years ago
SquadSix
I thank the voters for their constructive criticism, I hope get better with each debate so keep them coming!
Posted by SquadSix 5 years ago
SquadSix
You are welcome for the quick response... be expecting my next one around 5 or 6 central time tomorrow afternoon.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
Double_R
SquadSixbluesteelTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con began the debate claiming that a child has "no reason" to have a cell phone, which made this a very easy argument to refute. Pros personal examples alone negated the resolution. The emergencies argument just tacked on even more points for those who might not have been paying attention. Easy victory to Pro.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
SquadSixbluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con killed himself by trying to argue an absolute (if even 1 ten-year-old should have a cell phone than BS wins). Also, his lack of sources means any numbers in his arguments are questionable, which really hurts most arguments.
Vote Placed by innomen 5 years ago
innomen
SquadSixbluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro did a far better job of supporting his arguments, whereas con was almost arbitrary in his assertions.
Vote Placed by Greyparrot 5 years ago
Greyparrot
SquadSixbluesteelTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Blue shoots down the texting argument with style.
Vote Placed by cameronl35 5 years ago
cameronl35
SquadSixbluesteelTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Argument about emergencies seems to go untrammelled throughout the debate. On both sides there were many personal examples but that's acceptable for a debate like this. PRO also successfully refuted every argument from CON, thus earning my vote.